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Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

Ex-Tabiona High coach admits to sexual-related crimes with student

By Pat Reavy, Deseret News

Published: Fri, July 11 6:07 p.m. MDT

 Former Tabiona High School teacher Shay Alfred Price, 34, pleaded no contest Friday to unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and pleaded guilty to distribution of pornographic material to a person under 18, both third-degree felonies. He will be sentenced on Sept. 15. He was fired from the Duchesne County School District in December for allegedly sending \

Former Tabiona High School teacher Shay Alfred Price, 34, pleaded no contest Friday to unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and pleaded guilty to distribution of pornographic material to a person under 18, both third-degree felonies. He will be sentenced on Sept. 15. He was fired from the Duchesne County School District in December for allegedly sending "improper texts with revealing pictures to and from a student" and allegedly having "inappropriate physical contact with a student." according to a termination letter. He also coached baseball, basketball and track at the school.

(Duchesne County Jail)

TABIONA, Duchesne County — A former Tabiona High School teacher who was fired in December entered into a plea deal Friday on the same day he was charged with sex-related crimes with a student.

Two criminal charges were filed against Shay Alfred Price, 34. He pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, and pleaded no contest to distributing pornography to a person under 18, according to prosecutors. Both are third-degree felonies.

As part of the plea deal, Price arranged to be booked and released Friday from the Duchesne County Jail pending sentencing on Sept. 15. No contest pleas are treated as guilty pleas at sentencing.

Price abused his victim from about August of 2007 until February of 2011, according to charging documents.

"I began an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old minor at the time, and during the course of time, I requested that the minor provide me with nude photographs of herself and to perform oral sex on me," Price admitted in court documents.

The pornography distribution and sexual conduct occurred while the victim was 17, the charges state.

In his termination letter from the Duchesne County School District, school officials noted that Price refused to cooperate with the district's internal investigation and lied to administrators "in a prior investigation of similar matters."

Price had worked at Tabiona High since 2004. In addition to teaching career and technology education classes, he has also coached baseball, boys basketball and track.

Recommended
1. Left Field
Cocoa Beach, FL,
July 11, 2014

This behavior has become so commonplace that it no longer shocks. Technology has made it so easy for people of all ages to give in to their baser inclinations. Having to pull down a magazine wrapped in brown paper from the top shelf of a convenience store in front of other patrons provided more built-in resistance to an urge and more opportunity to think twice before acting than what one faces when deciding where on the internet to wander. There is without question an inverse correlation to the rise in technical advances and the downward spiral of moral standards. It takes more personal strength and integrity to resist this manner of temptation than ever before, and it appears that many in the teaching ranks of our children are not up to the task.

2. Alison
Hyrum, UT,
July 11, 2014

Just one suggestion to Left Field: *some* in the teaching ranks are not up to the task of holding high moral standards. SOME are not, rather than *many*.

MOST teachers do not cross this line. TOO MANY do, but they are not representative of the teaching profession. It only takes one to cast the entire group in a bad light, that's for sure. Some criminals secure a teaching contract, but most teachers are not criminals.

3. Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT,
July 12, 2014

What is with these teachers. Don't they watch the news?

4. I M LDS 2
Provo, UT,
July 12, 2014

Maybe we Ned to seriously consider this kind of abuse of a position of public trust as a capital offense? I'm getting tired of reading about these creeps.

5. Sampson
Hurricane, UT,
July 12, 2014

First, let me say that this behavior is inexcusble! That being said, the media doesn't make articles on all professions--they do for teachers because of the heightened trust we give them to be with our children. It happened in our community 8 years ago and it blighted many good teachers who worked with the teacher and student.

FACT: There are 26,000 pubic school teachers in the state of Utah. (see USOE website) If there are 11 reports of such behavior, that would be less than 0.04% (not 4%--but 4/10 of one percent) of the total number of teachers.

This behavior is unacceptable--I still trust the teachers my children have because I am active in getting to know each of them. I have noticed that many of the articles I have read re: abusers are not teachers but are coaches, aides, volunteers as well as other staff. The state requires all teachers to have background checks and relicensure every five years--which requires intense training on the penatties associated with inappropriate relationships.