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Former Utah school staffer pleads guilty to sex abuse

Courts » Diarra Fields pleaded guilty to three counts of forcible sexual abuse.

First Published Mar 17 2014 11:24 am • Last Updated Mar 18 2014 10:14 am

A former staffer at a St. George school for troubled youth has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three male students.

Diarra Niccole Fields, 29, was originally charged in August 2012 in 5th District Court with sodomy on a child, forcible sodomy and aggravated sexual abuse — all first-degree felonies — and two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

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On March 6, the man took a plea deal in the case, which cancelled a trial scheduled to begin Monday. He pleaded guilty to three charges of forcible sexual abuse, all second-degree felonies. The remaining charges were dismissed.

Each count is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

But according to court documents, prosecutors have agreed to not ask for prison time.

Sentencing is set for May 29.

According to a probable cause statement filed by police in 5th District Court, a then-16-year-old boy who was attending Red Rock Canyon School — a youth residential treatment center in St. George — told his mother in 2012 he was involved in an "inappropriate relationship" with Fields.

During an interview with police, the boy said he had touched Fields’ genitals on several occasions and said he knew of another 16-year-old boy who was also involved with Fields.

Police interviewed the second 16-year-old boy, who also told officers that he had similarly touched Fields, and that a third then-13-year-old boy had a similar experience.

Officers then interviewed the 13-year-old boy, who reluctantly told officers that he had also similarly touched Fields.

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Police said Fields is a staff member at the school, but it was not apparent from court documents what position of employment he held there or how closely he interacted with the alleged victims. A staff member from the school said Monday that Fields is no longer an employee at the center.


Twitter: @jm_miller

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