Ex-Brighton High choir teacher gets probation for harassing teen
Holladay • A former Brighton High School choir teacher was sentenced to a year of probation Wednesday for texting a student in what prosecutors have described as an inappropriate manner.
Steven Richard Smith, 40, pleaded guilty in May to one class B misdemeanor count of electronic communication harassment in a plea deal with prosecutors.
In exchange for the plea, for which Smith could have faced up to 180 days in jail, prosecutors dropped the two sex charges sexual solicitation and possession of pornography on school property with which Smith was originally charged in August 2012.
According to charging documents, Smith allegedly offered a 17-year-old boy unspecified "opportunities" in exchange for sex, and when investigators confiscated Smith's work computer, they found pornographic images.
Smith declined to speak at Wednesday's hearing in Holladay Justice Court. Neither the victim nor his family was present.
Defense attorney Sarah Giacovelli told the judge that Smith was undergoing counseling and treatment that have been helping him understand that "he made an inappropriate decision."
"The important thing is he's been taking active steps to make changes in his life and take responsibility for what's occurred," Giacovelli said. "It will ensure this kind of thing won't happen again."
Judge Augustus Chin ordered Smith to undergo a year of probation along with counselling and pay $740 in restitution, or serve 93 hours of community service in the city of Holladay.
Smith resigned from Brighton High on Feb. 15, 2012, after more than a dozen years at the school.
The judge told Smith he is barred from having any contact with the alleged victim in this case.
Smith now works at a shoe store in Salt Lake City.