Grantsville High School’s head football coach was arrested Thursday for unlawful sexual activity with a minor, forcible sex abuse, sexual battery and lewdness with a minor, according to a release from the Tooele County School District.
The Grantsville City Police Department learned of the alleged sexual misconduct between Curtis Ware, 47, and a juvenile female student after being notified by the school, according to a probable cause statement. During the investigation, a second juvenile female victim was identified.
Grantsville City Police Chief Kevin Turner said the victims were 16 and 17 years old during a press conference Friday afternoon.
When Grantsville City police interviewed the second victim, she said Ware had touched her inappropriately several times, including on her breasts, according to the statement. She also said she had seen Ware do the same to the first victim and said the first victim told her about sexual activity with Ware.
The alleged sexual activity with the first victim occurred in Cedar City and charges of forcible sodomy were requested by Grantsville City police in 5th District Court, the probable cause statement said.
When police interviewed the first victim, she said there was inappropriate touching that occurred on several occasions in Grantsville, which led to the incident in Cedar City. Based on the information received from the victims and information from a victim’s mother that Ware made arrangements to contact the victim, he was arrested Thursday and booked into the Tooele County Detention Center.
Turner did not reveal whether there was physical evidence in the case but said the department had enough information to warrant an arrest.
“There’s some information that led that way but also, dealing with juveniles, our priority is safety,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure that they’re safe and that there’s no chance of any further contact.”
Turner did not provide additional information on the timeline of the alleged sexual abuse, whether it occurred on school property or if the victims were students in Ware’s class.
In addition to his football coach duties, Ware worked as a long-term substitute teacher at GHS where he taught in a special education classroom.
Charges against Ware have not yet been filed in 3rd District Court and no court date has been set.
According to the school district release, GHS principal Mark Ernst received information of the sexual assault and notified the police department, the parents of the students and the Tooele County School District. The school district conducted an internal investigation and is following due process for termination.
The school district’s human resources director Terry Christensen said officials were notified of the allegations against Ware at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. A conference was scheduled with Ware for after school the same day; he was then placed on administrative leave with pay.
Ernst said two students came to his office at 11 a.m. on Wednesday and made the allegations against Ware. He said it has been an emotional time at the school and that it’s personal to him.
“I don’t want to believe this happened with one of my teachers or to some of the students I supervise,” he said.
Faculty were notified of Ware’s arrest and an email was sent to students’ parents with information on the arrest, according to the school district.
Ware was hired as an assistant football coach at Stansbury High School in September 2009 through December 2010. He was hired as an assistant football coach at GHS on August 2011 and transferred to the same position at SHS in April 2014.
Ware was hired as the GHS football head coach in February 2015 and was hired as a special education, long-term substitute teacher on August 2015.