A Grantsville High teacher and coach has been arrested after a student accused him of sexually abusing her.
Richard Craig Harrison, who goes by the name Craig Harrison, is suspected of groping the girl seven different times in 2017 and 2018, according to a probable cause statement. The alleged gropings happened at the school — in a storage closet, the weight room, a portable classroom and the ice room, the document states.
According to police, the girl “felt she had to do what Harrison asked of her.”
Harrison, 33, has been employed by the district for seven years. He teaches physical education and health at Grantsville High, and has been a track coach and an assistant football, basketball and golf coach. He is on paid leave pending an investigation, according to a Tooele County School District statement. (State code mandates paid leave until employees resign or are notified that the district intends to terminate them.)
Court documents allege that after he groped the girl, he would send her text messages “asking if she was OK.” He also told her to “make sure she deleted her messages” and “not tell anyone” what happened, according to the probable cause statement.
After the girl came forward, Tooele County Sheriff’s Office investigators had her call Harrison as part of a “pretext call” under the supervision of law enforcement, the document states. The calls attempt to illicit incriminating statements from suspected perpetrators.
In the conversation, Harrison said he “vaguely remembers” groping the girl, court records indicate. After he was arrested, Harrison admitted to grabbing the girl “as they were in the weight room with a bunch of students messing around.”
Harrison was booked into the Tooele County jail for investigation of object rape, a first-degree felony, and nine counts of forcible sexual abuse, second-degree felonies.
”We will continue to work with the Grantsville City Police Department during this process and encourage anyone who has additional information to contact them as well,” the district said in a statement.
An all-state football player when he attended Grantsville High, Harrison played quarterback for Snow College and then transferred to Utah State, where he played in 20 games from 2012-14.