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Utah junior high staff member arrested, accused of sexual activity with student

SHARE Utah junior high staff member arrested, accused of sexual activity with student

American flags wave at Granite Park Junior High in South Salt Lake on Nov. 11, 2019.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

A staff member at a South Salt Lake junior high school has been arrested and accused of sexually abusing a teenage student.

Kimberly Jeniffer Cruz-Romero, 29, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Tuesday for investigation of two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, rape of a child and forcible sodomy.

An officer with the Granite School District Police Department was investigating a report of unlawful sexual activity with a child at Granite Park Junior High, 3031 S. 200 East, when he learned about a 14-year-old boy who was allegedly engaging in sexual activity with Cruz-Romero, according to a police booking affidavit.

Police say the woman is an attendance tracker at the school.

"It was reported by the victim (that) he and Kimberly Cruz-Romero had sexual intercourse on several occasions," including at a hotel in Salt Lake City, in the woman's office at the school and in her car on several occasions prior to the boy turning 14, the affidavit alleges.

Police say they have recovered pictures and video evidence of the crimes.

The boy also told police that he was "threatened by gang members of the gang Kimberly is a member of for wanting to end the relationship with Kimberly," as stated in the affidavit.

"It was reported Kimberly became pregnant with the victim's child. I located a text message that supports that allegation from Kimberly's registered phone number to the victim's phone," the officer also wrote in the arrest report. "When Kimberly was being taken into custody, she informed me she had recently had surgery for a miscarriage. The procedure is believed to have taken place about a week ago in Mexico."

Police have requested that Cruz-Romero be held without bail pending the filing of formal criminal charges.

The Granite School District released a prepared statement on Wednesday regarding the "disturbing" allegations.

"We are still gathering information on this matter, but Romero has been terminated as a result of these charges. Romero has only been employed with the district and Granite Park since the start of this current school year. Student safety is our primary concern, and we take these charges very seriously. There is currently no indication from Granite police that any other students were involved," the district said.

Cruz-Romero was a part-time employee with the school, according to the district.