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Nephi teacher found not guilty in sexual abuse case

Published: Friday, Aug. 8 2014 6:46 a.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, Aug. 8 2014 6:46 a.m. MDT

A Nephi teacher charged with molesting a former student was found not guilty in a jury trial Thursday.

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NEPHI — A Nephi teacher charged with molesting a former student was found not guilty in a jury trial Thursday.

A jury found Hadley Christensen, 39, not guilty Thursday evening following a four-day trial. Jury deliberations lasted a little more than two hours, court records indicate.

The teacher and wrestling coach had been charged in January 2013 with aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony. At the time, Christensen had 11 years' experience teaching elementary school in Juab County, including teaching fifth grade at Red Cliffs Elementary.

The charges were filed following a sleepover with Christensen's daughter and her 11-year-old friend at his Nephi home on Dec. 22, 2012. Christensen was the friend's fifth-grade teacher last year.

The girl claimed Hadley gave her a strange pill for a headache and that she awoke to find him touching her inappropriately during the night. Doctors at Primary Children's Hospital said they discovered "physical evidence that could have been caused by the abuse as she described it to them," and antidepressants in her system, court records state.

— McKenzie Romero

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