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Park City School District court date delayed two weeks (updated)

Ben Lasseter
The Park City School District is due in court June 28, rescheduled from Tuesday, to face charges that it failed to report child abuse

A pretrial conference scheduled for Tuesday in the criminal case against the Park City School District has been postponed until the end of the month.

The Park City School District was due in court Tuesday morning in the criminal case alleging the district failed to report child abuse, but the hearing has been rescheduled to June 28 as attorneys work to negotiate a settlement.

The pretrial conference was originally scheduled for mid-May. In the intervening few weeks, the Summit County Attorney’s Office and the district’s defense attorney have been negotiating a potential settlement.

According to the court docket, the hearing was postponed to continue those settlement negotiations.

The Summit County Attorney’s Office in March charged the district with three misdemeanor counts of failing to report child abuse, each of which carries a possible $1,000 fine. Each charge relates to a different alleged incident: one allegation of a district employee inappropriately touching a student and two student allegations of rape.

Utah law requires anyone who has reason to believe a child has been abused to report the incident to law enforcement or the Division of Child and Family Services.

In April, two weeks after the charges were filed, representatives from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Park City Police Department and Summit County Attorney’s Office led an abuse-reporting training session for school district employees.

The district's defense attorney, Mark Moffat, has said the district endeavors to create a safe learning environment, and reports cases of abuse to the proper authorities. On Monday, Moffat said the two sides are “in negotiations to see if we can resolve the case.”

Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson described a pretrial conference as a formal opportunity to explore alternatives to bringing the case to trial. She said any resolution would have to serve both the interests of justice and the interests of the accused. She added that it is very common for pretrial conferences to be rescheduled.

Alexander joined KPCW in 2021 after two years reporting on Summit County for The Park Record. While there, he won many awards for covering issues ranging from school curriculum to East Side legacy agriculture operations to land-use disputes. He arrived in Utah by way of Madison, Wisconsin, and western Massachusetts, with stints living in other areas across the country and world. When not attending a public meeting or trying to figure out what a PID is, Alexander enjoys skiing, reading and watching the Celtics.