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Ex-charter school employee arrested in child sex abuse investigation

Published: Saturday, Jan. 23 2016 11:40 a.m. MST

WILLARD, Box Elder County — An employee who recently resigned from Promontory School of Expeditionary Learning was arrested at his home Friday for investigation of child sex abuse, police said.

The arrest is separate from a criminal case that was filed against Kasey John Cox earlier this month charging him with sodomy on a child and sexual abuse of a child in 2005 or 2006, according to investigators.

Cox's Friday arrest stems from "recent allegations of sexual abuse," said Box Elder County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Dale Ward.

Cox, 26, of Willard, was booked into the Box Elder County Jail Friday for investigation of three counts each of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and forcible sexual abuse.

"Several items were seized as a result of the search warrant and all will be examined to determine if there is any further evidence of criminal activity," Ward said in a prepared statement.

Cox worked for Promontory School of Expeditionary Learning in Perry for several years, most recently as a "middle school aide" and before that as a "special education aide," according to the charter school's director, Jamie McKay.

Both Ward and McKay said there is no indication that Promontory students are victims of any abuse.

"There is no evidence at this time to indicate there was any criminal activity associated with his position at the school," Ward said.

Ward described the case that led to Cox's arrest Friday as an "active investigation involving juvenile victims," and said the alleged wrongdoing was "recent," but he didn't provide specifics about the accusations against him.

No formal charges have been filed against Cox in connection with his weekend arrest.

Cox resigned from the school on Jan. 11, three days after he was charged in 1st District Court in a separate case with sodomy on a child, a first-degree felony, and two counts of sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.

Charging documents say Cox inappropriately touched two boys under the age of 14 and instructed one of the boys to perform a sex act on him. The exact ages of the alleged victims was not inidicated. Investigators allege that the abuse occurred sometime in 2005 or 2006.

McKay said in an email to students' families Friday night that the school learned of the allegations against Cox this week.

"I have never had a single complaint raised about (Cox) by students, faculty or parents," McKay said in the email. "I want to assure you that as a school, we did everything we could have to check Mr. Cox’s background. Just like for all our employees, we ran an FBI check on him, and there was nothing in that report that caused any concern."

McKay said a school counselor and other school staff will be available to assist students as they react to the news. He encouraged parents with concerns to contact him.

"I feel angry, betrayed, confused, and heartbroken," he said. "I imagine many of our students and local families will have these same feelings. … These types of allegations can be devastating to a school, especially a small, close-knit community like ours. Our close-knit relationships are also our greatest strength, and I know that together we will work through this tough time, supporting one another as we do every day."

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the case to call the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office at 435-695-2599.

Prior to this month, Cox had no criminal history in Utah outside of misdemeanor traffic violations.

Email: blockhart@deseretnews.com

Twitter: benlockhartnews

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