Judge refuses to dismiss rape, sodomy charges against former Utah teacher
A judge refused to dismiss charges Tuesday against a former Davis High School English teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a then-16-year-old student.
Brianne Land Altice, 34, is charged in 2nd District Court with three counts of first-degree felony rape and one count of first-degree felony forcible sodomy.
Her attorney, Edward Brass, had asked for the charges to be dismissed, arguing in court papers that prosecutors did not prove at her preliminary hearing that Altice held a position of trust as the boy's teacher and that she used that position to exercise "undue influence" over him.
Brass wrote in his motion to dismiss that the teen testified during the preliminary hearing that he was the aggressor, and that his "ultimate goal" was to have sex with Altice.
"She repeatedly refused and declined his advances until he ultimately broke down her resistance," Brass wrote. "... The state failed to establish probable cause to believe that the intercourse that occurred was without consent."
Deputy Davis County Attorney Cristina Ortega argued in a response motion that teachers inherently have influence over their students, because they can discipline students, they give students grades, and they have the ability to justify or excuse absences in other classrooms.
After hearing arguments from attorneys Tuesday morning, Judge Thomas Kay denied the motion to dismiss.
A three-day trial for Altice is scheduled to begin Sept. 15. She will be back in court again on Aug. 8.
According to court documents, Altice is accused of having sexual intercourse with the student on several occasions between January and September of 2013.
Prosecutors say the teacher acknowledged to investigators that she had engaged in sex with the boy on two occasions.
She has been free on $10,000 bail since her arrest. She was on paid leave until she fired Feb. 3.
Altice, whose husband filed for divorce and custody of their child in December, was hired by the Davis County School District in 2004; she had been teaching at the high school since August 2012.