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Junior high teacher charged with child abuse

FILE PHOTO (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

TAYLORSVILLE — A Bennion Junior High School teacher is facing a criminal child abuse charge after Granite School District officials reported complaints by parents the teacher had been inappropriately communicating with former students.

It’s something no parent ever wants to hear about.

“This-this is so disheartening,” says Granite District Spokesman Ben Horsley.

Brain Gene Fries, 40, was charged with child abuse Wednesday. Prosecutors say Fries had sexually suggestive text conversations with at least two former students. No evidence exists suggesting actual physical contact with either juvenile.

“In those texts, it demonstrated a clear violation of the appropriate teacher-student boundaries,” says Horsley.

Horsley adds the texts indicated a pattern of grooming, causing additional alarm that there might be more victims Fries was in contact with.

In court documents, prosecutors say Fries may have had a sexual relationship with another former student who has since graduated high school.

Anyone who might have had similar interactions with Fries is encouraged to contact Granite District Police at (801) 481-7122.