A Summit County art teacher has been fired following his arraignment on three counts of dealing harmful material to a minor and one count of attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child.
Franc E. Nichols, 46, has been placed on administrative leave without pay by the South Summit School District and notified that he will be terminated for cause by the district effective Feb. 18. Nichols can file an appeal with the South Summit Board of Education within prior to the Feb. 18 termination date.Nichols, an art teacher at South Summit Middle School, was arrested at the school Monday after police, using a body microphone, taped a conversation between Nichols and a 13-year old boy that Nichols is accused of trying to fondle during an incident last week.
Nichols, who is free on release through Pre-Trial Services, was arraigned Wednesday on the charges and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for 11 a.m. Feb. 26 before 3rd Circuit Judge Edward Watson in Coalville.
The charges stem from an incident in which Nichols allegedly showed three boys, one age 13 and two age 14, a pornographic video and attempted to fondle one of the boys. Investigators were also told that the boys had been shown pornographic books and magazines by the defendant.
Nichols' arrest followed an investigation that was sparked by a complaint from a Kamas resident last week.
The counts of dealing harmful materials to minors are third-degree felonies and carry a possible sentence of zero to five years in prison. The charge of attempted aggravated sexual abuse is a second-degree felony and carries a possible sentence of one to 15 years in prison.