FARMINGTON -- A court hearing has been set for a former Bountiful Junior High School teacher charged with eight first-degree felonies following allegations of having sex with a 14-year-old boy.
Valynne Asay Bowers is expected to appear before Judge John R. Morris on Feb. 14 in 2nd District Court. At the pretrial conference hearing attorneys will discuss the next steps in the case, which could include a resolution or the setting of a trial date.
Bowers, 41, of Woods Cross, is charged with five counts of first-degree felony rape and three counts of first-degree felony forcible sodomy. The relationship with the 14-year-old boy purportedly began Jan. 2, 2009, and lasted until Feb. 27, 2009, in Woods Cross.
The boy was attending the school where Bowers taught, but was not in any of her classes that year.
A three-day trial had been set to begin April 20, 2010, but was canceled when the defense attorney filed motions concerning the victim.
For several months before the trial date, prosecutors and the defense attorney said a resolution to the case may happen. But that failed when Bowers did not want to leave her sentence up to the judge.
Dale sealed the defense attorney's motions because they pertained to the victim, who is a minor.
Dale also sealed the prosecutors' written response to the motions. On Tuesday, he filed and sealed his ruling on the motions.
Attorneys on both sides cannot discuss what is in the sealed motions.
Bowers was arrested in March 2009 after Bountiful police learned of her relationship with the boy from another teacher, Linda Richins Nef, who also told police about her own relationship with the boy.
Bowers had been with Davis School District since 1996, but resigned March 16, 2009, after her arrest. She had worked for 10 years in elementary education, then in 2006 transferred to Bountiful Junior High, where she taught math.
Nef, 48, is serving three years to life in Utah State Prison for having a sexual relationship with the same boy, who was 13 at the time of their relationship. She pleaded guilty June 16, 2009, to attempted aggravated sex abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, and was sentenced July 21, 2009.
Bowers' attorney, Rich Gallegos, had said that because the juvenile was 14 and because he had admitted to initiating all of the contact with Bowers, his client should not be charged with first-degree felonies. He also argued in court that teachers are not teachers after the school bell rings, so she did not hold a position of trust.
Prosecutors argued that teachers do hold a position of trust over a child or a teenager, and that is why the charges against Bowers are so serious.