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WEBER ASSISTANT GETS FIVE MONTHS IN JAIL

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Weber State assistant football coach Todd Larson was sentenced to jail in Alaska for attempted sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl.

A jury convicted Larson, 33, on Dec. 30 in Fairbanks. A superior court judge gave Larson the maximum one-year jail term, but suspended seven months and said Larson could serve the remaining five months over the next two summers.He must spend at least 60 days in a Fairbanks jail this summer.

Larson taught physical education and coached football at North Pole High School near Fairbanks from 1985 to 1990. The alleged incident occurred in the fall of 1989.

Larson also was sentenced to three years probation and must undergo a sex offender evaluation with a licensed therapist in Utah and comply with the therapist's recommendations. He cannot have unsupervised contact with girls under 16 while on probation.

"They accused me of a felony and I was found innocent by a jury," Larson said in a prepared statement. "They found me guilty of a misdemeanor and gave me a felony sentence. We will appeal on every issue and for as long as it will take."

An appeal could take up to a year.

"I believe in Todd Larson," Weber State head football coach Dave Arslanian said following Tuesday's sentencing. "I've seen him help too many people in too many ways to have this kind of thing thrown at him and be a factor in his life. It's unfair and it's unfortunate."

Weber State Athletic Director Tom Stewart would not comment on Larson's status with the university.

Larson originally was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, a class B felony. It later was changed to a lesser charge of class C felony sexual abuse of a minor because the incident occurred before new Alaska laws were enacted.

The jury found Larson innocent of the felony charge.