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Former St George teacher accused of 12 counts of child sex abuse

ST GEORGE, Utah – The St. George Police Department arrested a former teacher for the second time on Tuesday, on 12 additional counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

Payne was arrested on Jan. 30, after a former student came forward and accused him of groping her while she was a student.

Payne is a former teacher at Sunset Elementary School in St. George.

“The new charges are based upon information obtained through follow-up investigations which have identified several additional victims,” the St. George Police Department said. ” The incidents span the length of Mr. Payne’s career and those interviewed now range in ages from 14 to 30 years old.”

During the investigation police said they interviewed a total of 32 individuals. Many of the interviews revealed a similar behavior pattern that involved inappropriate touching  by Payne, police said.

Although many of the incidents did not progress to the point where a crime occurred, police said that several interviews revealed evidence that, ” crimes were committed and charges have been filed as a result.”

The St. George Police urged anyone who may have been a victim to reach out to them:

“Please contact the investigations Tip Line at 435-627-4338 with additional information. This is not a media line. For media inquiries, please contact Officer L. Trombley at 435-627-4339. Thank you.”