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State drops sex abuse case against longtime Highland High employee

SHARE State drops sex abuse case against longtime Highland High employee

West Bludworth

Salt Lake County Jail

SALT LAKE CITY — A longtime employee of Highland High School is no longer facing decades-old child sex abuse charges after prosecutors dropped their case.

Third District Judge Randall Skanchy this week dismissed five felony charges against West Bludworth, court records show.

Bludworth, who handled finances as the school’s treasurer and also coached girls soccer during his more than 20-year tenure at Highland, was placed on leave as the case was pending. His employment status as of Friday was not immediately known.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office sought the dismissal “due to witness and evidentiary issues,” court records show.

“This is something we discussed with the victim and took all input,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. He declined to elaborate.

Bludworth faced a charge of rape of a child, a first-degree felony, and four counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony, after police said he abused a girl from 1987 to 1989 starting when she was 5 years old. Bludworth was between 12 and 14 years old at the time.

When Bludworth was charged last year, Highland High Principal Chris Jenson said the allegations didn’t involve any current or former students, and did not take place on school grounds.

In a Sunday order, the judge dismissed the charges without prejudice, meaning they could potentially be filed again at a later date.