Washington County teacher accused of molesting kids arrested

Curtis Payne (Photo: Washington County)

(KUTV) A Utah school teacher has been arrested for aggravated sexual abuse of a child after police investigated claims that her fourth grade teacher molested her multiple times, including in school with other students present.

Curtis W. Payne denied allegations to police according to a the warrant obtained from St. George, Utah, police. He told police he remembered the woman as one of his former students in the late 1990s. He was arrested and booked on three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, enhanced because he was in a position of trust, as a teacher, over the woman reporting the abuse.

According to St. George Police Department, it started investigating Payne in December and he was an employee of the Washington County School District.

"Though an arrest has been made, this investigation is still active and ongoing; additional details will not be available until our investigation is completed," St. George police wrote on its Facebook page.

According to the document, the victim said Payne sat the girl on his lap behind his desk and touched her vagina, initially over and then under her clothes and said it happened three or four separate times. She said he also sat next to her during movies shown in the calssroom and touched her in a similar fashion. She said this happened several times. Another similar incident happened at a pool party away from school.

Payne was interviewed Tuesday and arrested and taken to the Washington County Jail.

Bail for Payne was set at $25,000.

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