After seeing news coverage that a South Cache Middle School teacher was arrested and charged for having sexually explicit conversations with a 14-year-old student, three additional victims contacted police, according to a search warrant affidavit made public Wednesday.
Duane Franklin Behrmann, 51, was arrested April 11 and charged the next day in 1st District Court with two counts of third-degree-felony enticing a minor, two counts of second-degree-felony enticing a minor and Class A misdemeanor obstructing justice. The second-degree felonies carry the stiffest penalties — up to 15 years in prison.
According to court documents, Behrmann told police he’d originally taken an interest and developed a special relationship with the student when he noticed she was suicidal.
“His intentions were to help the child but their conversations turned sexual,” Behrmann told police.
The detective interviewing Behrmann “confronted” him with the sexually explicit conversations he’d had with the student through text messages and online, and said that there was “no doubt that [Behrmann’s] intent was that of a sexual predator” who eventually hoped to have a sexual relationship with the student.
“Behrman did not deny this statement,” the documents says.
The teacher “knew there would be consequences for his actions and would be accountable for them,” the documents say.
The relationship was originally reported to police by the girl’s parents, who found a cell phone that contained sexually explicit messages between her and Behrmann.
In an interview with a Division of Child and Family Services worker, the girl said she’d bought the cell phone from another student so her parents would not find out about her contact with Behrmann.
The two would see each other during school in Behrmann’s classroom, and the student would often stay after school with him, documents say.
In addition to the explicit messages, the teen described “other sexually inappropriate conversations” with the teacher that they’d had face-to-face when they were alone in his class.
Before winter break, Behrmann gave the girl his private email address, which did not have his name attached to it, the affidavit says. The student also created a secret email account so she could communicate with the teacher during the break. The messages were sent via email and Google Hangouts on 13 different dates, according to police.
Behrmann sent were “sexually seducing messages in the attempt to groom and lure the child into a sexual relationship with him,” a detective wrote.
The affidavit also describes the two exchanging sexually explicit messages during class with other students in the room — the teen from her cell phone and Behrman from his school computer. One of the messages from Behrmann noted the “need to be careful of what he was saying because he was not sure how much the school was monitoring his computer activity,” documents say.
A police officer used the girl’s email account to ask Behrmann to bring her a specific drink to school the next day, documents say, and after the teacher showed up with the drink, he was arrested.
Behrmann told police he had never had sex with the girl, nor had he had similar relationships with students in the past.
But since Behrmann’s arrest, three other potential victims have contacted police “with similar stories matching that of the current victim,” documents say. The allegations from the victims “reach back as far as eight years ago” at the middle school, when the victims were each 13- or 14-year-old students in Behrmann’s class.
One of the former students who contacted police lives out of state and said she saved sexually explicit messages from Behrmann via Facebook as well as one that asked whether her parents monitored her Facebook Messenger conversations.
Another former student told police Behrmann would email her from his personal email account asking if he could take her shopping in Salt Lake City.
Behrmann is being held in the Cache County jail in lieu of $35,000. He is scheduled for an initial court appearance Tuesday.