Eleven additional charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child were filed Friday against an award-winning teacher at Rosamond Elementary School.
Frank Laine Hall, 36, now faces a total of 14 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, all first-degree felonies. The new charges represent six additional victims, bringing the total to nine.
Originally, Hall was accused of putting his hand down the pants of three female students in his first-grade classroom, 12195 S. 1975 West, in Riverton. All of the approximately 20 students in his class are 6 or 7 years old.
The amended charges do not give details about the six additional victims, including whether they were his students or if the abuse occurred in his classroom.
However, 10 of the additional charges reflect allegations between July 1, 2006, and March 9, 2007, the day Hall was removed from the classroom, according to court documents.
The 11th new charge refers to an alleged incident at the school sometime between July 2005 and May 2006, or last school year, court documents stated. All 14 of the charges state the abuse happened on school property.
The sheriff’s office could not speculate Friday whether deputies expected even more charges to be filed. But Lt. Paul Jaroscak said detectives were still actively working the case.
“We have not closed the investigation. We are still open to additional victims that might come forward,” he said.
All six of the new victims came forward after Hall’s arrest on their own free will, he said.
Wednesday night, parents of the students in Hall’s classroom this year had a closed-door meeting with the school’s first-year principal. The Jordan School District declined to publicly discuss the nature of the meeting or anything that was said, noting it was a private issue between the school and parents.
Hall remained in the Salt Lake County Jail Friday on $500,000 bail.
His family changed attorneys this week, opting to go with David Finlayson. Earlier this week, Hall’s previous attorney, Craig Baimum, described him as being “shocked” by the allegations and not taking it well.
Some residents have contacted the sheriff’s office, concerned that Hall’s name is being tarnished.
But Jaroscak said it’s the job of investigators to look into all serious allegations and present the case to the district attorney. If prosecutors determine there is enough evidence to file charges, it is up to the court system to determine guilt or exonerate the accused.
“It’s always disturbing to have allegations against someone in a position of trust, whether it be a teacher, police, clergy or whoever. That’s why they are dealt with more harshly in the law,” Jaroscak said. “People just don’t want to believe stuff like this happens.”
The entire community is victimized when allegations such as these surface, he said.
In 2006, Hall was honored with a Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education, a prize that comes with a $10,000 check. According to Hall’s online bio, he went the extra mile for students by frequently showing up at their houses and hand-delivering rewards such as Happy Meals and Gatorade.
For some parents, however, that raised red flags. One Rosamond parent sent an e-mail to the Deseret Morning News saying there were many parents who would never put their children in his classroom.
“I and many other parents see him as a teacher who invades boundaries by calling and coming to homes often,” the e-mail stated.
Hall’s next court date was scheduled for April 2. He was removed from his classroom and placed on paid leave as soon as the sheriff’s office announced he was under investigation, according to the Jordan District.
Now that Hall has been charged in court, the district will again review his status, possibly as early as Monday.
Hall received his teaching degree from Brigham Young University, where he majored in elementary education and minored in English as a second language, according to information obtained from electronic files contained in CACTUS (Computer Aided Credentials of Teacher in Utah Schools).
The teacher was hired by the Jordan School District in January 1997. He worked at one other elementary school within the district before going to Rosamond, but officials declined to specify which school.
He began his teaching career as a physical education teacher. Hall attended Utah State University in 2001. According to his own Web site, Hall went to high school in Pasco, Wash.
He was also a member of the Riverton Art Museum board. Hall, who is married but has no children, tutored kids after school at the Riverton Public Library.
In his bio for the Huntsman award, Hall said, “I just love doing it I don’t have kids, so regard them as my kids and put a lot of effort into them. I get a lot of great interaction with them.”
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