The U.S. Army instructor arrested last December for having sex with a 17-year-old female student at Tooele High School was sentenced in 3rd District Court last week.
Brian Joseph Dragon, 33, of Herriman, pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor in a plea deal on July 18. He was originally charged with three counts of first-degree felony rape in December 2016.
During sentencing on Sept. 12, 3rd District Court Judge Robert Adkins suspended Dragon’s prison term on both counts, which could have been up to five years for each conviction. Dragon was instead sentenced to 29 days in jail and 36 months of probation, as well as 60 days home confinement, with allowances for work or medical appointments.
As part of the terms of probation, Dragon must abide by Group A sex offender conditions, except his own children, and participate in sex offender treatment. He was also required to complete a substance abuse and mental health evaluation and a GPS ankle monitor must be installed within four days of release from jail.
Dragon served as the instructor of the Students Taking Active Roles program but was not an employee of the Tooele County School District.
According to Tooele City police, a student came forward about suspicious behavior involving Dragon and the 17-year-old victim. The reporting student said Dragon would sometimes lock the door to a portable classroom when he was alone with the victim.
Tooele City police interviewed the female victim and she confirmed she was alone with Dragon on several occasions, according to a probable cause statement. She told police Dragon touched her breasts and they had sex three times in the portable classroom.
The STAR program is provided for schools without a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Course or military academy, according to Jeff Ross, Salt Lake City Army Recruiting Battalion Chief of Public Affairs. Dragon taught at the high school either two or three days a week, depending on the school cycle.