Ex-Kaysville coach charged with sexually abusing student

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 4 2012 10:15 a.m. MST

Stephen Paul Niedzwiecki, 33, of Bountiful, was arrested for investigation of forcible sex abuse, object rape and other charges. Police say the former basketball coach at Jefferson Academy in Kaysville had a sexual relationship with one of his teenage students.

Davis County Jail

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BOUNTIFUL — A former Kaysville basketball coach has been arrested and charged for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl for more than a year.

Stephen Paul Niedzwiecki, 33, was arrested Monday and charged Tuesday in Farmington's 2nd District Court with eight counts of forcible sodomy, all first-degree felonies; one count of attempted rape, a second-degree felony; and two counts of forcible sexual abuse, both second-degree felonies. He was booked into the Davis County Jail.

The alleged assaults happened between June 1, 2011, and Sept. 30, 2012.

Bountiful Assistant Police Chief Ed Biehler said Niedzwiecki met his alleged victim in 2010 while he was a teacher and basketball coach at Jefferson Academy in Kaysville. The girl was 14 at the time. In addition to being her coach and teacher, Niedzwiecki also tutored the girl, Biehler said.

By summer 2011, the two began engaging in sexual acts, he said. The abuse was committed often and at "various places along the Wasatch Front, including Mr. Niedzwiecki's home in Bountiful," Biehler said.

Utah state court records show Niedzwiecki filed for divorce in September 2011.

Although Niedzwiecki was arrested for investigation of 11 counts of sex-related crimes, Biehler said many more could have been added.

The girl recently reported what had been happening to a clergy member, who then notified her parents, he said. Niedzwiecki was arrested Monday.

Most recently, he had been working at Quest Academy in West Haven, Biehler said.

Niedzwiecki taught science in seventh through ninth grades at Jefferson in addition to being the assistant basketball coach, according to a school spokesman.

Jefferson Academy released a brief statement Tuesday, saying, in part, "a background check was completed and cleared at the time Stephen Niedzwiecki was hired. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Niedzwiecki was not a member of our faculty."

"We have looked thoroughly through his file that I have here at the school. There is nothing that would indicate anything like that at the time," said Jefferson director Jane Muna, who was not the director when Niedzwiecki was at the school. "It's sad when this happens, especially for the children. It makes us all aware we need to be proactive to protect our children."

Niedzwiecki left Jefferson to seek employment at Quest and was not fired, according to the school.

"The arrest of one of our teachers, Stephen Niedzwiecki, a secondary science teacher, obviously comes as a surprise to us," Quest director Lani Rounds said in a prepared statement. "We want to be clear that the alleged incident for which he was arrested did not involve any student of Quest Academy, nor did it happen at the school. A background check was completed and cleared at the time this employee was hired."

Rounds said Niedzwiecki's status at the school as of Tuesday was "on administrative leave."

On his Facebook page, Niedzwiecki lists his employment as an instructor at Sunset Studios in Kaysville, where music lessons are taught.

Niedzwiecki's arrest was the second in two days in Utah involving a charter school educator accused of sexual misdeeds.

Charles Edward Weber, 65, of South Jordan, was charged with six counts of forcible sodomy after FBI investigators said he admitted to sexually abusing boys over the past 35 years as an educator. Until August, he was principal of Soldier Hollow Charter School in Midway.

Contributing: Sandra Yi

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

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