Seminary principal accused of sexually abusing a student

Published July 10, 2009 5:34 pm
Utah County » Police say he checked teen girl out of school for encounters.
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An LDS seminary principal connected to Highland's Lone Peak High School was arrested Thursday afternoon after an alleged two-month sexual relationship with a student.

Police say Michael Jay Pratt began exchanging text messages with a 16-year-old girl on May 1. Pratt would check her out of school and take her to various locations around the Utah valley for sexual acts, according to Sgt. Matt Higley with the Utah County Sex Crimes Task Force.

The locations included Provo Canyon, Alpine, Highland, Goshen and Eureka, Higley said. Pratt also took the girl into at least one unoccupied home, he said.

Higley said the encounters involved a range of different acts -- "basically everything but full intercourse." The victim told police about the alleged crimes earlier this week, Higley said.

"She gave us some great information concerning the extent and nature of their relationship," he said. "We made contact with [Pratt], he came down and met us at our office, and he was taken into custody at that time."

Investigators are still determining how many times Pratt allegedly rendezvoused with the girl. Higley said it was unclear whether she was one of his seminary students or if Pratt only oversaw her in an administrative role as the principal.

Pratt was booked into jail on suspicion of three counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16-year-old, one count of aggravated forcible sexual abuse, 10 counts of forcible sodomy, one count of object rape, one count of lewdness, three counts of burglary, one count of criminal trespassing, one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and 10 counts of enticing a minor.

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