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Nephi teacher charged with abusing former student

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 2 2013 4:36 p.m. MST

NEPHI — A well-known elementary school teacher and wrestling coach in Juab County was arrested after police say he molested a former student.

Hadley Christensen, 38, was charged in 4th District Court this week with aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony. Christensen has been an elementary school teacher in Juab County for 11 years, most recently teaching fifth grade at Red Cliffs Elementary. The Juab School District said he was suspended from teaching pending an investigation.

The charges were filed following a sleepover with Christensen's daughter and her 11-year-old friend at his Nephi home on Dec. 22. Christensen was the friend's fifth grade teacher last year.

During the night, Christensen gave the girl a pill for her headache.

"She said the pill was not one she had seen before," according to a probable cause statement filed by the Utah County Sheriff's Office. Because of Christensen's notoriety in town, the Juab County Sheriff's Office asked Utah County to conduct the investigation to avoid any possible conflict of interest.

The young girl told police she awoke in the middle of the night to find Christensen inappropriately touching her. "She was scared at this time and pretended to be sleeping," a police affidavit states.

The girl went to a local hospital the next day and was sent by doctors to Primary Children's Medical Center. Doctors there discovered "physical evidence that could have been caused by the abuse as she described it to them," the affidavit states. Anti-depressants were also found in her system, according to police, although her family said she did not have a prescription for any.

When interviewed by police, Hadley denied giving the girl any medication or touching her.

"After awhile he requested to stop talking and that he wanted his attorney," the affidavit states.

Hadley was booked into the Juab County Jail on Dec. 24 and posted bail that evening.

The Juab School District sent a letter home to the parents of students in Christensen's classroom following his arrest. The letter asked parents to step forward if they have any information about Christensen.

His initial appearance in court was scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m.

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

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