A former South Summit art teacher has waived a preliminary hearing on charges he sodomized a 14-year-old boy in a motel last month.
Defense attorney Ron Yengich told a 3rd Circuit Court judge that a plea agreement between the Summit County attorney's office and Francis Everett Nichols should be completed by an April 15 arraignment.Nichols, 44, was charged in a similar incident in Washington County where he faces an April 2 preliminary hearing on charges of forcible sodomy and dealing in materials harmful to a minor.
Deputy Washington County Attorney Brent Langston wouldn't comment on the matter, except to say he had spoken to Yengich.
"In any kind of plea agreement, I have to talk to the victims first," he said.
During Wednesday's hearing, Yengich said a third case in Salt Lake County would not be pursued if the plea bargain is completed in the Washington and Summit county cases.
Nichols was arrested Feb. 4 at South Summit Middle School after prosecutors accused him of showing pornographic videos to three male students, two of them age 14 and the other 13.
Officials also said he attempted to fondle the 13-year-old while the videos were being shown.
In Washington County, prosecutors say he sodomized a 14-year-old boy in a St. George motel.
Yengich said Nichols is undergoing treatment and psychiatric evaluations as a patient in a local hospital. He said Nichols would pay restitution to cover the counseling costs for the victims.
Summit County Attorney Robert Adkins said he would be satisfied with a plea bargain in the case.
"It was obvious that he never should be put in that position where he is teaching kids again," Adkins said. "A conviction on these charges does just that. This also saves the victims the problem of testifying in a case like this."