Nephi teacher accused of child sex abuse

NEPHI, Utah — A teacher from Red Cliffs Elementary School in Nephi has been arrested on suspicion of child sex abuse.

Hadley Christensen was booked into the Juab County Jail in connection with an alleged incident involving a former 5th grade student of his.

According to a probable cause document, an 11-year-old girl told an investigator from the Division of Child and Family Services that she was staying the night at a friend’s house at the time of the alleged abuse.

The girl told the investigator her friend’s father, who she identified as Christensen, gave her a pill for a headache, then touched her inappropriately in the middle of the night, the document said.

The document indicates the girl was examined at Primary Children’s Medical Center, where doctors said they found evidence consistent with the abuse she described and evidence of tricyclic antidepressants in her system.

“There is nothing here yet to make us believe that anything we’ve been told by this victim is not accurate,” said Sgt. Spencer Cannon, Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

Christensen answered the door for FOX 13′s Scott McKane Wednesday, but refused to make any comments about his status as a teacher or the allegations against him.

Christensen made his initial court appearance Thursday morning. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in February.

Christensen has taught fifth grade at Red Cliffs Elementary for the past 11 years. He has also worked as a wrestling coach at a local high school. He faces a first-degree felony charge of aggravated sex abuse of a child.

Juab School District Superintendent Jim Shank said that Christensen has been suspended from his job at Red Cliffs Elementary pending the outcome of the investigation and that his students and their parents have been notified of the arrest.

Christensen could face a sentenced of life in prison if he is convicted.