HURRICANE, Washington County — Marc D. Jensen, a popular Hurricane High School French teacher and student adviser, is on paid administrative leave after being accused in a Peeping Tom case.

Jensen, 29, was charged Wednesday with three counts of violation of privacy, a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000 plus an 85 percent surcharge. He is scheduled for an initial appearance March 23 in Hurricane Justice Court.

Jensen's St. George attorney, Doug Terry, was in a meeting Wednesday and unavailable for comment.

According to the charging document, Jensen allegedly trespassed on property with the intent to eavesdrop or watch someone without the individual's knowledge on three separate occasions.

Hurricane City prosecutor Chris Edwards said there is no evidence that Jensen witnessed anything of a sexual nature. The two alleged victims in the case are not students at the high school, he added.

"In his statement, Mr. Jensen said he attempted to but did not see anything," said Edwards, adding that according to Jensen's statement he was basically peeping through windows.

Washington County School District officials placed Jensen on paid leave several days ago after the Hurricane Police Department filed a report with the Washington County Attorney's Office.

Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap said his office reviewed the report and determined the evidence did not meet the legal definition of voyeurism. The report then went to Edwards who filed the charges on behalf of Hurricane City.

Marshall Topham, assistant superintendent of secondary education, said he hoped to review the charges on Thursday.

"I haven't even seen the charges yet," Topham said Wednesday afternoon. "But we're planning to review the charges on Thursday and meet with Marc on Friday to discuss it. All we've heard about at this date is innuendo and rumor."

A decision on Jensen's employment would be made quickly following Friday's meeting, Topham said.

Jensen, a graduate of Delta High School, graduated in 2000 from Southern Utah University with a master's degree in secondary education. He is married and has been employed at Hurricane High School since 1998. Jensen also coaches freshman boys basketball and girls soccer


E-mail: nperkins@infowest.com