Private school teacher, coach accused of sexual assault

Published: Thursday, Sept. 20 2012 8:25 p.m. MDT

PLEASANT GROVE — A former teacher and coach at a private Utah County school has been arrested after police say he engaged in sexual relationships with two 16-year-old students.

Broch DeGraff, 27, who taught kindergarten and coached the boys and girls soccer teams at Liahona Preparatory Academy, was booked into the Utah County Jail on Wednesday.

Pleasant Grove police began investigating allegations that DeGraff was having sexual relationships with the two female students about two months ago, Lt. Britt Smith said. Police say they believe those relationships have been going on for nearly a year.

DeGraff's relationships with the girls started through text messages, Smith said, and they were "undoubtedly inappropriate."

"It started over just school-related topics," he said. "That led to late-night texts, and then it led to late-night meetings."

Police said DeGraff has refused to talk to detectives and has hired an attorney.

DeGraff was fired by Liahona Preparatory Academy in light of the allegations, school officials said.

"Our student body and our parents are aware that it has happened, and we've made some adjustments in our policies so that it doesn't happen again," said Kolleen DeGraff, a Liahona administrator.

Kolleen DeGraff is Broch DeGraff's stepmother. His father, Brent DeGraff, owns the school.

On its website, Liahona Preparatory Academy notes that it conducts criminal background checks on teachers and staff.

Liahona Preparatory Academy is a private school for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The school's curriculum is based on values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com, mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @McKenzieRomero

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