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EX-TEACHER GETS JAIL, PROBATION FOR ABUSE

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A former Alpine School District elementary teacher will spend 30 days in jail and serve three years' probation for abusing her adopted children in 1993.

Janet Ward, 36, was convicted by a 4th District jury in June of two counts of child abuse. One count is a second-degree felony and one a class A misdemeanor.On Tuesday, Judge Lynn W. Davis sentenced Ward to prison but suspended the prison term and ordered her to report to the Utah County Jail within 60 days. He placed Ward on probation and ordered her to pay restitution and receive therapy for anger control. She can only have contact with her children with approval from the Division of Family Services.

Witnesses testified at trial that Ward, a former teacher at Lehi Elementary School, hit her two adopted children with her hand, a belt and a plastic baseball bat. The children, ages 8 and 11, and Ward's ex-husband also testified of Ward's abusive behavior.

The jury deliberated for more than 11 hours before returning the guilty verdict. Ward taught in Alpine School District for 14 years but was terminated after her conviction.