Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Central Utah teacher elated after being acquitted of sex abuse
Courts » It’s not clear if Hadley Christensen will return to teaching.
First Published Aug 08 2014 03:54 pm • Last Updated Aug 08 2014 09:46 pm

Words can’t describe how Hadley Christensen felt Friday, the day after a jury acquitted the former Juab County fifth-grade teacher of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

He felt relief, he said, and immeasurable joy.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"The last 19 months of my live have been constantly overshadowed by the threat of going to prison for a crime I did not commit," Christensen said Friday in a written statement. "As a person who has devoted his life to building up the lives of the young people I have had the privilege to work with, having my name sullied by those accusations have hurt me deep."

Christensen was charged in January 2013 with aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, accused of inviting a former student who he had taught the year before to his home on Dec. 22, 2013, and sexually assaulting her.

Christensen’s attorney, Dallas Young, said Friday that the former student was a friend of Christensen’s daughter, and was at the home for a sleepover that night.

"We’re just ecstatic that the jury saw it for what it is," Young said. "We didn’t believe it was a case that ever should have been prosecuted. The evidence was thin on its very best day."

Christensen testified in his own defense at trial, telling the jury that he was innocent, Young said.

"From day one, Hadley has maintained his innocence," Young said. "I’m not going to venture into why and how the accusations [from the girl] came about."

Prosecutors did not return a phone call seeking comment Friday.

Christensen, who taught at Red Cliffs Elementary School in Nephi, had worked for the district for 11 years. He had been on unpaid leave since December 2012, according to Juab School District Superintendant Rick Robins.


story continues below
story continues below

Robins said Friday that now that Christensen was acquitted of charges, they will re-evaluate his employment status, but would not detail the situation any further, citing privacy issues.

Christensen said his focus is not on his job at the moment, but on his family and his four children.

"Nineteen months of my childrens’ lives have been overshadowed by the threat of their father going to prison until well into their adult lives for an unspeakable crime I did not commit," he said. "Right now, my main priority is to spend time together with my children, who finally have their father back for good, something that has been missing for too much of their childhood."

Beyond his written statement Friday, Christensen asked for privacy for his family and the family of the girl who accused him of the crime.

"This has been a horrible situation for this whole community," he said. "As a proud resident of Nephi, my most sincere hope is that everyone involved in this can somehow find healing and peace."

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.