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Suit says Ogden teacher showed boy a gun, told him to snap nude photos of girls

Monday , July 16, 2018 - 4:41 PM

MARK SHENEFELT and SERGIO MARTÍNEZ-BELTRÁN
Standard-Examiner

OGDEN — The Ogden School District faces a civil lawsuit after a teacher allegedly showed a gun to a 13-year-old student and instructed him to take nude photos of three girls.

The boy’s mother filed suit in 2nd District Court June 19, accusing the district and the staff at Mound Fort Junior High School of failing to protect her son and other students after officials became aware the teacher had been acting inappropriately with children.

RELATED:  Former Ogden special ed teacher going to prison for sexually abusing 2 students

The teacher, Drew Tutt, 29, resigned Oct. 10, 2016, after the Weber County Sheriff’s Office began investigating him for sexually abusing two teen girls. He was arrested Feb. 6, 2017, and later pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse of a minor student and was sentenced to up to five years in prison.

That case was unrelated to the new civil lawsuit, but attorneys for the boy’s mother referred to it as part of a pattern of misconduct by Tutt that they say was mishandled by school officials.

On Friday, July 13, the Utah Attorney General’s Office, which is defending the Ogden School District in the civil litigation, filed papers transferring the lawsuit to U.S. District Court.

The boy’s mother filed the suit on behalf of her minor son, who was a student of Tutt’s in the 2016-17 school year. The school district and Tutt are the defendants.

The Standard-Examiner usually does not identify child victims of crime, so the mother’s name is not being used in this story.

Tutt took the boy and three minor females to the Mound Fort parking lot and told the boy to look inside Tutt’s car, the suit said.

The boy saw a gun in the passenger seat, and Tutt told him to take “naked” pictures of the girls and send them to him, according to the suit.

Tutt told the boy if he did not take the pictures, Tutt “would do something he would regret,” the suit said. The teacher then put the gun into the glovebox.

The suit did not say whether the boy took any nude photos, and it did not say on what date the alleged incident occurred.

The suit said that on Feb. 8, 2017, the boy told a guidance counselor about the gun incident and that Tutt had inappropriately touched his shoulders and invited him to his home.

The counselor called police and a report was filed, according to the suit. 

RELATEDFormer Ogden teacher formally charged with sexually abusing teen students

District and school officials “were aware and on notice that (Tutt) was acting inappropriately to students in a sexually related way,” but failed to adequately investigate the abuse reports, the suit said.

The boy suffered “serious emotional and psychological harm,” the suit said.

The complaint seeks general and punitive monetary damages.

According to a previous story by the Standard-Examiner, Tutt taught special education math to seventh and eight graders at Mound Fort in 2014 and 2015, and taught part-time in 2016 at Lincoln and Bonneville Elementary Schools.

Jer Bates, Ogden School District spokesman, said Monday that Tutt was hired after completing the background check required to all educators in the state.

"The school district is very concerned about the safety and well-being of the students," Bates said. "It pains any of us as individuals to think that a child is mistreated."

Bates said the defense of the suit was turned over to the Utah Division of Risk Management. The district had no other immediate comment on the allegations in the suit.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt and like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/SEMarkShenefelt.

Contact education reporter Sergio Martínez-Beltrán at smartinezbeltran@standard.net or 801-625-4274. Follow him on Twitter @SergioMarBel and like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/STANDARDEXSergio.

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