Child Abuse Charge Filed Against Former Granite School District Teacher

Nov 16, 2018, 7:14 PM | Updated: 8:22 pm

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah – Prosecutors have filed a child abuse charge against a former Granite School District teacher for inappropriate text messages allegedly sent to a teenage girl.

District spokesperson Ben Horsley said a 15-year-old girl told her parents she had gotten inappropriate text messages from her former teacher, 40-year-old Brian Fries.

Fries had been a social studies teacher at Bennion Junior High School until his resignation last week.

“We do see that grooming (behavior) occurring in the texts very clearly, and so that obviously causes concern for us,” Horsley said.

According to a probable-cause statement in the court documents, an officer with the Granite School District Police Department wrote that Fries sent 168 text messages to the girl between March and September 2018.

One text the officer allegedly wrote read, “Do you want to make out?”

The officer said there was a second text, saying that the question had been meant for someone else. However, police said Fries sent a text the next day saying, “OK here is my secret: that text I sent you the other day was not sent to the wrong person. I just felt stupid/really stupid. Lol.”

Police said the student replied, “You meant to sent it?” and they said Fries replied, “Yeah.”

Investigators said Fries admitted to them that he sent the initial text asking if the girl wanted to make out, but also it was meant for someone else. He denied sending the follow-up text.

They said he consented to a search of his phone, where police reportedly found evidence that Fries was in a sexual relationship with a former student who was then 18 years old and had graduated from high school.

Police said they interviewed her and she told them she had asked Fries if he ever had feelings about other students. She said he told her he was attracted to three other students.

One of those students told police Fries had sent her messages on Twitter, saying she was beautiful and that he had dreamed that they made out.

Police said one message read, “I guess I shouldn’t really be flirting with you since you aren’t even 18 yet.”

The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has filed a charge of child abuse. In the probable-cause statement, the officer said one of the girls was experiencing anxiety and had stopped going to school regularly because of the situation.

“While there was not severe physical contact there, or any physical contact in this particular case as far as we were able to ascertain, there was emotional distress caused, which is still a crime,” Horsely said.

Horsley said Fries was put on leave on September 21 and submitted his resignation on November 5. He had been a teacher in the district for seven years.

Fries declined to comment when reached at his home Friday afternoon. A hearing has been scheduled for December 19.

KSL 5 TV Live


yellow tape crossing blue and red lights...

Associated Press

Body parts of 2 people found in Long Island park and police are trying to identify them

Police on New York's Long Island were trying to identify human remains found in a popular suburban park that appear to be from a man and a woman.

8 hours ago

Pair of handcuffs on a black bacthroom...

Alexander Campbell

Washington County man calls police on self, gets arrested for stolen firearms

A teenager is off the streets after calling in to St. George Police and giving them his approximate location Friday, leading to a guns-drawn arrest.

19 hours ago

Two victims in a Hit-and-run in Sugarhouse speak to KSL News on Friday. (Emma Benson, KSL News)...

Emma Benson

Sugar House hit and run victims speak out

Two Sugar House women are speaking out after they were involved in a hit-and-run.

21 hours ago

A picture of the dead, Provo Police officer Joseph Shinners, that was being used in the courtroom o...

Emily Ashcraft,

Attorneys urge jury to consider intent in trial for man accused of murdering Provo officer

The trial for the man accused of murdering Joseph Shinners began Friday. Matt Hoover's attorneys said he meant to shoot himself that fateful day, not Shinners.

22 hours ago

Layton High School (KSL TV)...

Michael Houck

Layton High School student in custody after being found with a gun on school grounds

Police arrested a student after he was found with a weapon while at Layton High School Friday morning.

23 hours ago


Alexander Campbell

Second man arrested in Logan child rape sting in a month

A 27-year-old man is behind bars in Cache County after attempting to traffic who he believed was a 9-year-old girl, using the same methods that Logan police used to arrest another person on Feb. 7

24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Child Abuse Charge Filed Against Former Granite School District Teacher