SALT LAKE CITY — The Davis County School District and Davis High School administrators are asking a federal judge to drop a lawsuit filed against them in connection with a teacher convicted of sexually abusing students.
In a motion filed Monday, attorneys for the school district argue that administrators did not know about Brianne Altice’s sexual relationships with students until she was arrested.
Brianne Land Altice, a 39-year-old former South Weber resident, was convicted on three counts of forcible sexual abuse, all second-degree felonies, in April 2015. Three months later, 2nd District Judge Thomas L. Kay sentenced Altice to three prison terms of 1 to 15 years.
The federal lawsuit was filed a few months later in December 2015, and claimed that school administrators “should have known of Ms. Altice’s improper relationships with minor children prior to her being offered a teaching position at Davis High School.”
Altice began as an English teacher at Davis High School in 2012 where she met two of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
Attorneys for the school district and administrators say in the motion filed Monday that no one was aware of Altice’s sexual relationships with students, claiming that some administrators had “significant interaction with the student body” and heard nothing about the inappropriate activity.
The motion also says one of the administrators named in the suit had a child who attended Davis High School during the time of the abuse and would tell her about any rumors floating around the school. The administrator heard nothing from her child regarding Altice’s inappropriate relationships, the motion says.
In the days before Altice’s arrest in October 2013, administrators were given a flash drive with photos of Altice having lunch with a student in a public park, according to the motion. School administrators met with Altice shortly after they were given the photos, and told her the the interactions were “not acceptable.”
“Ms. Altice, who seemed shocked, mortified, and remorseful over the pictures and her conduct, sincerely committed that she would not go to the park again,” the motion says.
Days later, Altice was arrested and placed on administrative leave.
The judge in the case has yet to make a decision as of Wednesday afternoon. A court date to discuss the motion has not been scheduled in Salt Lake City’s Utah District Court as of Wednesday.
Altice’s bid to be released on parole was denied in January 2017. Her next parole hearing is scheduled for April 2019. Until then, she will remain in custody at the Utah State Prison.
Jacob Scholl is the Cops and Courts Reporter for the Standard-Examiner. Follow him on Twitter @Jacob_Scholl or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.