Southern Utah music teacher arrested, charged with abusing students

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31 2012 11:42 a.m. MDT

HURRICANE, Washington County — A music teacher who claimed his "cheerleading" of students "had gone too far" has been charged with groping at least four of his young students.

Lynn Richard Lundstrum, 62, of Ivins, was charged in 5th District Court in St. George on Tuesday with four counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, a first-degree felony. An $80,000 arrest warrant was issued for Lundstrum. He was booked into jail at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Lundstrum was a teacher at the Valley Academy charter school in Hurricane. His information has since been removed from the school's website.

Two 10-year-old girls taking violin lessons from Lundstrum told family members they no longer wanted to play their instruments. One girl told her grandmother that she "does not want to play violin anymore because her teacher Lynn Lundstrum has been touching her on her buttocks and thighs," charging documents state.

Both girls told investigators in September that Lundstrum would make them stand up while practicing their solos, and then he would touch them while standing behind them. One girl said "she would try to sit down to get away, but he would tell her she has to play while standing. She stated that the touching is happening everyday in violin class," the charges state.

The girl told investigators that her friends reported the same thing happening to them. Hurricane police interviewed at least two other girls who reported similar incidents with Lundstrum.

When detectives interviewed Lundstrum, he told them "his cheerleading had gone too far and admitted it had crossed the line and said he was, 'guilty as charged,'" court documents state.

In a prepared statement on Wednesday, school director Ed Woodd called Lundstrum a former teacher. He also wrote that he wanted to "reassure our students, parents, and the public that Valley Academy has, and always will take a very serious approach to providing a safe learning environment for our students," while also noting that the school "has and will respond appropriately."

The Washington County School District said Lundstrum was a substitute teacher during the 2011-12 school year, teaching mostly in music classes in middle schools and high schools. The last time he substituted in the district was May 27.

District officials said they were in the process Wednesday of compiling a list of all the schools where Lundstrum substituted. As of Wednesday, they had not received any additional reports of inappropriate touching.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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