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Washington County teacher charged with allegedly molesting student


SANTA CLARA (News4Utah)- A Washington County School District employee is in custody, charged with sexual abusing a child – the victim alleging the abuse happened when she was the man’s student and he was her teacher.

Police say the alleged abuse happened at Sunset Elementary School in St. George when the victim was in fourth grade.

Curtis Payne was arrested January 30, on three first degree felony counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child. 

Charging Documents state the alleged abuse happened in the late 90s and that Payne molested the girl, touching her in appropriately, in her fourth grade classroom, as well as at a pool party while he was her teacher.

The girl, now an adult, first came to police in December 2017.

“With a charge such as aggravated sexual abuse of a child, first degree felony, because of the position of trust, there’s not a statute of limitations, The reason for this is sometimes people aren’t comfortable reporting for whatever reason, and it takes them a while to get to a place where they can file a report,” said Lona Trombley Public Information Officer with the St. George Police.

Police are requesting anyone with information to contact them. They also remind anyone who is a victim of a crime it’s never too late to seek help.

“If in the event that you have been a victim in any incident, not just with this case, but with any case, you should look at finding justice,” said Trombley.

Police say this is still a very active investigation. Payne was interviewed by St. George Police and denies the allegations against him.

The Washington County School District has placed him on administrative leave.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the toll-free Statewide 24-hour Sexual Violence Crisis and Information Hotline at 1-888-421-1100. Click here for a list of Rape Crisis Resources in Utah.
If you suspect child abuse or neglect is occurring, call the Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline 855.323.3237.

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