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Utah teacher pleads no contest to touching girl

Published November 27, 2013 1:54 pm

Crime • Man, 30, charged with unlawful sexual contact with student.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Jordan High School teacher accused of touching a female student inappropriately in his school office earlier this year will avoid jail time but was banned this week from returning to teach.

Travis Jefferson Gough, 30, of Herriman, pleaded no contest this week to one misdemeanor count of unlawful sexual contact with a minor.

Although the charge carries a penalty of up to one year in jail, Gough entered a plea in abeyance that allows the court to wipe the crime from his record should he adhere to conditions set by 3rd District Judge Terry Christiansen on Monday.

The judge ordered Gough to complete 50 hours of community service and pay a fine of $500. Gough was also told he would not be allowed to return to teaching.

If he follows these terms and stays out of legal trouble for the next 18 months, the charge will be dropped.

Gough was originally charged in July with two misdemeanors, but one was dismissed in his plea deal with prosecutors.

Police allege that a 16-year-old student went into Gough's office at the school to talk to him. While there, Gough, an auto mechanics teacher, rubbed her back, put his hand on her mid-thigh, kissed her on the cheek and smacked her on the buttocks with his hand, according to charging documents.

A few weeks later, police said, the student returned to Gough's office and, as she got up to leave, he reached out and grabbed her bottom, according to court documents. Charges allege he kept his hand there for several seconds before she exited the room.

Gough left the Canyons School District prior to his arrest.

mlang@sltrib.com

Twitter: @Marissa_Jae