More men make charges against former Weber teacher, Scout leader

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 1:43 PM

Standard-Examiner Staff & Wire Services

SOUTH OGDEN — Police say nine more men have made accusations against a former Boy Scout leader and science teacher in Utah charged with possessing child pornography.

Meanwhile, a parent of a former South Ogden Junior High School student told the Standard-Examiner she expressed concerns about the teacher back in 2007.

The men reported 61-year-old Kenneth William Prince of Uintah took sexually explicit photos of them when they were junior high students, South Ogden Police said.

In the latest allegations, some of the men knew Prince as their Scout leader, in addition to being a teacher at the school, Lt. Dwight Ruth said Monday.

Ruth said the nine men made the accusations separately but allege Prince took photos of them as a group and convinced them it was part of an official activity. The photos were not taken on school property, officers said.

Ruth did not have further details Monday, including information about how far back the allegations date.

Investigators were still reviewing the allegations, he said, and had not yet determined if they will file additional charges.

Messages left with Prince’s attorney Stephen Farr were not immediately returned Monday.

Prince was arrested last Tuesday on suspicion of possessing child porn in Weber County and was formally charged in state court on Thursday with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Prince was a science teacher at South Ogden Junior High School from 1979 to 2008. Prince retired from teaching in 2008. Prince’s teaching license was revoked in 2009 for a lewdness charge and violations of an agreement with a commission that oversees teacher licensing, according to officials with the Utah State Office of Education.

Parent Tegan Greenfield said she had brought several concerns about Prince to school administrators in 2007. At that time, Greenfield said, her 13-year-old daughter Sisiline Richards and friends were invited to a party at the Ogden River Inn. According to Greenfield, Richards was alarmed to see Prince there with several boys joining in on the party.

Greenfield also told the Standard-Examiner that her daughter told her the then 55-year-old teacher was passing out beer and smoking marijuana with the students at the hotel. After Richards told her mother about the events of the party, Greenfield said she complained to the school and to police.

Officials from the Weber School District could not immediately confirm any of Greenfield’s allegations.

“The School District really missed this,” Greenfield said.

Greenfield also said she brought the case to Ogden Police, but they didn’t continue due to a lack of evidence.

Prince has not yet entered a plea to the current charges and is scheduled to make an initial court appearance on Wednesday.

Detectives said they opened a case against Prince after someone came forward with decades-old allegations of abuse against Prince.

Investigators said a search of Prince’s home netted sexually explicit photos of young boys.

Last Thursday, Prince was hospitalized and involuntarily committed for a mental health evaluation after he tried to commit suicide by ingesting mercury, officers said.

Investigators found him at a Logan home with a half-empty bottle of mercury and cuts to his head and wrists. Officers also found a note in the home in which Prince apologized to his family for trying to take his life.

Prince had not been a registered Boy Scout leader since 2003. The organization took steps to ensure he could never be a Scout leader after being made aware of the “situation” by law enforcement authorities, according to the Boy Scouts’ Trapper Trail Council.

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