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Tooele assistant football coach to be fired after arrest during prostitution sting

(Courtesy Salt Lake County jail) Mark Jackson

A Tooele High School assistant football coach is on unpaid administrative leave and will soon be fired after he was arrested last week in a Salt Lake City prostitution sting, a school district official said Thursday.

Mark Lyne Jackson, 39, was one of several dozen people arrested Aug. 23 during a weeklong prostitution operation by the Salt Lake City Police Department. Jackson allegedly ”arranged with an undercover officer to pay cash in exchange for sex acts,” according to a Salt Lake County jail booking statement. 

Jackson is defensive coordinator for the Tooele football team. He was hired in 2011.

The coach was placed on paid administrative leave Aug. 24, then moved to unpaid leave Tuesday, and officials planned to terminate him Sept. 7, Tooele County School District spokeswoman Marie Denson said Thursday. 

“His actions did not fall in line with the values of the school district,” said Denson, adding Jackson had allegedly solicited the prostitute on his own time, and the actions did not involve students. 

Jackson could not be reached for comment Thursday. 

Denson said there were ”no red flags” when Jackson was hired more than five years ago. She said a thorough background check was conducted through the Bureau of Criminal Identification. 

However, Utah court records show Jackson pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor lewdness in 2002. He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in 2004. 

Denson said the school district would examine why those charges did not turn up on a background check, or were not reported. 

Jackson is the third football coach from Tooele County School District to depart under controversy in recent months. The head coach of Grantsville High School, 48-year-old Curtis Ware, was charged last September with multiple misdemeanor sexual battery and lewdness charges related to alleged activity with two female students. He was later fired by the district, and in February, he was charged with tampering with a witness in the prior cases. 

In January, Tooele head coach Kyle Brady resigned after six seasons. Brady was being investigated by the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission for alleged inappropriate communication via phone with another student, Denson told news outlets at the time. Charges were never filed.

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