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Former teacher accused of sodomy bonds out of jail

Published December 6, 2012 9:51 pm

Crime • Man is charged with nearly a dozen sex offenses in connection with a student.
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A former Kaysville charter school teacher and Weber State University adjunct faculty member accused of forcible sodomy of a teen bonded out of the Davis County Jail on Thursday.

Stephen Niedzwiecki's release, bonding out on a $200,000 bail, comes three days after the 33-year-old was charged with nearly a dozen sex offenses in connection with one of his female students. He was charged Tuesday in 2nd District Court with eight counts of forcible sodomy, all first-degree felonies; and one count of attempted rape and two counts of forcible sexual abuse, all second-degree felonies.

Niedzwiecki is represented by private attorney Cara Tangaro, and is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 28.

The onetime teacher and basketball coach also taught anthropology at WSU as recently as this fall, and had been first hired on a semester-by-semester basis four or five years ago, said Allison Hess, spokeswoman for the university. His hire at WSU predated a state law that went into effect in May 2009 that requires universities to run background checks on prospective employees and existing ones when there is probable cause.

The allegations against Neidzwiecki only came to light late last week after the student's parents contacted the Department of Child and Family Services and law enforcement, who arrested Niedzwiecki on Monday.

Assistant Bountiful Police Chief Ed Biehler said Tuesday that a girl and Niedzwiecki first became acquainted when she was 14. She was a student of his at Jefferson Academy — a charter school serving grades kindergarten through ninth — and one of his basketball players. The two allegedly began having sex when the girl was 15 and Niedzwiecki was tutoring her off campus, Biehler said.

Biehler said Niedzwiecki taught at Jefferson Academy from 2010 to 2011 before going to work for Quest Academy this summer. None of the alleged crimes occurred at Quest or involved Quest students, Biehler said.

Keith Facer, chairman of the Jefferson Academy board, declined to discuss the allegations specifically but said in a statement that they completed and cleared a background check on Niedzwiecki when he was hired, and at the time of his arrest, he was not a member of the Jefferson Academy faculty.

Niedzwiecki is set to return to court for a scheduling hearing on Dec. 28.







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