West Valley City charter school teacher accused of sex crimes against student
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A West Valley City charter school teacher has been arrested on suspicion of sex charges against a student.
According to West Valley City Police, Kyle Hill, 33, of Provo, is accused of inappropriately touching a 9-year-old and taking naked pictures of the boy on at least 10 different occasions in his classroom at Endeavor Hall, while other students were at recess.
“The pictures were of the child, and they were illegally taken, illegal pictures,” said West Valley Police Lt. Kent Stokes. “This teacher would give rewards to this particular student.”
According to jail records, the boy told police Hill would leave notes on his desk requesting these naked photo shoots.
“Mr. Hill would also offer him candy or ‘extra class money’ if [the boy] would mark yes to Mr. Hill’s requests,” reads the affidavit of probable cause. “After [he] would answer the notes, [he] will put the notes under Mr. Hill’s keyboard.”
Hill is currently in custody at Salt Lake County Jail. He faces a charge of aggravated sexual assault against a child and 10 counts of exploitation of a child. Police say the interactions have progressed since September.
The child’s parents reported the suspected sexual abuse to police Sunday after speaking with their son. Monday, police interviewed the parents and the third grader. Detectives also interviewed Hill at the school and processed evidence from his classroom.
According to a jail booking record, Hill admitted to taking naked photos of the student in a part of the classroom called the reading nook while school was in session and touching the boy at least twice for sexual gratification.
Police say Hill even visited the child Sunday at his home.
“The investigation uncovered that the teacher Mr. Hill would make visits to the home, and I don’t know if this was an uncommon thing or not,” said Lt. Stokes said.
Investigators say Hill taught third grade and is very popular at the school, which houses students from kindergarten through eighth grade.
“It’s hard to speak to the red flags because after the fact it’s easy to say, ‘What about this? What about that?’ For our investigation, this is one of the best teachers in the school, did a great job teaching his kids and working with the faculty,” Lt. Stokes said.
The principal of Endeavor Hall, Simon Raubenheimer, told KSL that there were no red flags or cause for concern related to Hill’s behavior.
“Students loved him and parents loved him,” Raubenheimer said.
Hall was terminated on Monday once the school learned of the arrest, according to Raubenheimer.
“We absolutely train our teachers and encourage them never to be alone with a student,” he said.
Some parents arrived at the school Tuesday morning to ask questions and talk with their children.
“The reading nook kind of is a concern because how was he able to go behind and nobody was watching it?” said Flavia Souza, whose son is also in third grade but in a different class. “He’s alone with the student. But again, teachers are alone with the students.”
Souza says she doesn’t blame the school but plans on having more conversations with her son about what happened.
“As a parent, you really don’t think you have to talk about this kind of thing. But unfortunately, the world that we live in today, we actually do,” she said.
Hill has been working full-time at Endeavor Charter School for three years. He previously was an instructional assistant at Timpanogos Elementary School in Provo, from 2013 to 2015.
West Valley City Police ask anyone with information about other potential victims to call 801-840-4000.
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