Victims' families accuse district of letting them downJason Steadman's guilty plea Thursday to three charges of molesting children brings some satisfaction to the families of his victims. But the silence of the Jordan School District, where Steadman taught, still hurts.
"The boys were victims twice," said the father of one of Steadman's victims. "They were victims of sexual abuse, but they were also victimized because they weren't supported by the district."Fathers of two of Steadman's victims said Thursday they believe the district supported Steadman instead of its students.
"After we contacted the district, we got nothing but crap," said one. "We got nothing from them, no offer of counseling, no apology, no contact with the parents.
"Our kids deserve a safe environment to go to learn and get an education, and it didn't happen," said the second father. Both agreed their sons, students at Jordan High School, now only want to graduate and get out of what they see as a hostile environment.
Steadman pleaded guilty Thursday in 3rd District Court to three third-degree felony attempted sexual-abuse charges, reduced in a plea bargain from three second-degree felony counts.
"In this case, the thing that upset me is we know there are more victims," said one father. "I've talked to them, but they won't come forward because they don't want to get drug through the dirt."
Prosecutor Dane Nolan said he's not aware of any other victims and said he believes the plea bargain is in the best interest of the victims, who are reluctant to testify against Steadman in an open trial.
"I'm happy he pled to three third-degree felonies. It gives the judge enough leverage to see he's appropriately sentenced," Nolan said.
Steadman, 25, Sandy, was charged with two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, and sexual abuse of a child, also a second-degree felony.
He pleaded guilty to two third-degree felony charges of attempted forcible sexual abuse and one third-degree felony count of attempted sexual abuse of a child.
According to court documents, Steadman abused a 10-year-old boy at the boy's Sandy home last summer. He fondled one teenage boy while visiting in his home last November, according to the charging documents, and another 17-year-old victim while the two were on a baseball trip to St. George last June.
Steadman, who taught Spanish and physical education at Jordan High from 1996 until charges were filed in January, agreed as part of the plea negotiations to have the St. George case filed in 3rd District Court.
As part of the plea bargain, prosecutors will not request prison time for Steadman and will not oppose probation.
Judge Michael Hutchings could sentence Steadman to three consecutive one-to-five-year prison terms at his April 28 sentencing.