Criminal charges filed against Brad Bentley, former North Sanpete High School teacher
By Robert Stevens
Criminal charges have been filed against the former North Sanpete High School (NSHS) teacher who is accused of sending explicit text messages to a student.
Bradford Bentley, 54, of Mt. Pleasant is charged with enticing a minor—a Class A misdemeanor—by Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels in 6th District Court.
“Teachers hold a special position of trust within our society,” Daniels said. “We send our children to school each day entrusting teachers and other faculty with the care of our children. Rarely do teachers violate this trust. Sometimes the media causes us to believe these cases are rampant. In fact, cases of this nature are very rare. Mr. Bentley is the first case of this nature I have handled in over five years. Mr. Bentley violated the trust of the entire community. Because of that violation, Mr. Bentley will be held accountable for his choices.”
The Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office recently announced it found evidence to support allegations that Bentley sexually solicited a 16-year-old female student, and suggested charges be filed based upon that evidence. After screening the case, Daniels officially filed charges.
The authorities became involved in the situation when a student approached the NSHS school resource officer with allegations that Bentley sent her text messages of a sexual nature. Bentley became the focus of the investigation and was fired from the school district in May.
Investigators seized two cellphones and two iPads from Bentley’s classroom as evidence and were able to determined probable cause, said Detective Derick Taysom of the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office.
“The evidence suggests there were no illegals photos sent,” Daniels said. “Overall, I feel the charge is reflective of both what occurred and the attendant harm.”
The sheriff’s office is encouraging other victims to come forward by contacting them at 435-835-2345. At this point, no one else has come forward to suggest Bentley has engaged in any other illegal behavior, Daniels said.