Sterrett “Rett” Neale | Salt Lake County Jail
Longtime West High School teacher Sterrett ‘Rett’ Neale faces 7 felonies
SALT LAKE CITY — A college student took the stand in a Salt Lake courtroom Tuesday to describe how her high school drama coach supported her as she healed from abuse, then later began a sexual relationship with her, starting when she was 17 and he was in his 50s.
The girl would seek out advice from longtime West High School teacher Sterrett “Rett” Neale after another instructor at a different school had sexually abused her, she recalled during a preliminary hearing. She was mourning the death of her grandmother at the same time.
“I needed as much support as I could get,” the now 19-year-old student recalled.
Following her testimony on Tuesday, 3rd District Judge Royal Hansen ordered the 55-year-old Neale to stand trial on seven criminal charges. He faces three counts of object rape and two counts of forcible sodomy, first-degree felonies; plus two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.
For a little over an hour, the student spoke in a measured voice and took sips of water as Neale watched quietly. He wore a black suit and did not speak except to decline to testify.
Neale directed the school productions the teen acted in and was her adviser for a project on the trauma of child sexual abuse, she said.
He first kissed her in March 2017 in his classroom, she testified, and the relationship progressed to include twice-a-week sexual encounters in the same room, followed by others at his Millcreek home while his wife was out. The relationship allegedly continued after she turned 18.
Her telling of events on Tuesday came about in cross-examination from Neale’s defense attorney. Prosecutors had submitted a written statement so she …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News