A high school football coach in Utah is charged with arranging sex with a minor

(Photo courtesy Salt Lake County jail) Brandon Dean Preece

A high school football coach in Draper has been accused in federal court of trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a minor and carrying a gun in connection with a crime.

Brandon Dean Preece, 40, was arrested July 3 in Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park, according to a statement Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Preece was, until last weekend, the sophomore football coach at Corner Canyon High School, according to a spokesperson for the Canyons School District. Preece was fired July 5.

According to Layton police, Preece initiated an online chat with an officer pretended to be a girl. “During the chat Brandon believed he was speaking with a 13-year-old female” and said that he wanted to meet to perform a sex act with her, the officer wrote in a probable cause statement.

The officer arranged a meeting, and when Preece arrived he “fully admitted to wanting to meet the child,” according to the officer, and Preece “stated that he knew it was illegal and wrong to want to perform” a sex act “on a child, but was was caught up in the conversation and wanted to meet her.”

A federal grand jury charged Preece with one count of coercion and enticement and one count of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

The FBI is also investigating.

The coercion charge carries a potential penalty of life in prison and a 10-year minimum sentence, according to prosecutors. The firearm count has a 5-year minimum sentence, which must be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed in a case.

Preece was not a full-time staffer at Corner Canyon and it doesn’t appear that he taught classes. He worked as an engineer in Murray.