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Emery High teacher charged with having sexual relationship with student

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Emery High School teacher Andre Louis Pastrana, 44, was charged Friday, July 17, 2020, with having an illegal sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.

Emery High School

SALT LAKE CITY — A high school teacher in central Utah was charged Friday with having an illegal sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.

Andre Louis Pastrana, 44, whose hometown is listed as Newark, California, in court documents, is charged in Carbon County’s 7th District Court with seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony; plus endangerment of a child, witness tampering, and four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16-year-old, all third-degree felonies.

Pastrana is listed on Emery High School’s website as a language arts teacher.

Between March 1 and June 29, Pastrana — who was the girl’s “then-high school teacher, began grooming the 16-year-old victim through the use of text messages and email,” according to charging documents.

By the end of March, investigators say the two were communicating on a daily basis.

“The text messages initially involved each one telling the other how much they missed one another and missed seeing the other at school. This progressed to (Pastrana) telling (the girl) how attractive and talented she was and how (he) could see a life with her in the future,” according to charging documents.

When police began investigating what was happening and served a search warrant on Pastrana’s phone, they found explicit photos of the girl, “in addition to the 26 phone calls and 6,417 text messages exchanged between the two,” the charges state.

In May, Pastrana and the girl engaged in sexual activity at his house, according to charging documents.

“Near the end of June, (Pastrana) called (the girl) to inform her that he believed he was in serious trouble, that there was a criminal investigation involving him, and to please not say anything about their relationship to anyone. (He) expressed to (her) that his life depends on her and to please be on his side,” the charges state. “This conversation was recorded and provided to law enforcement.”