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Ex-TV newscaster pleads guilty to 2 sex counts

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Former local television newscaster Douglas Jardine Thursday pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a 17-year-old girl, and could face up to two years in jail.

Jardine, former co-anchor of KTVX Channel 4's "Good Morning Utah," originally was charged with two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year old, both second-degree felonies.

Utah law prohibits adults from having intercourse with 16- or 17-year-olds if the adult is 10 years or more older than the teen. The victim told police she had intercourse with Jardine, 41, on two occasions earlier this year.

In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors reduced the charges to attempted unlawful sexual conduct, both class-A misdemeanors.

Deputy district attorney Susan Hunt said the plea agreement was standard fare, not influenced by Jardine's position as a public figure.

"We looked at the facts of the case, and especially in this case the attitude of the defendant in cooperating with the investigation," Hunt said. "He seems to be remorseful."

Jardine declined comment. He will be sentenced Sept. 22.

KTVX news director Adam P. Bradshaw said that "it is by mutual agreement that Doug will not be returning to work at KTVX."