Ex-Substitute Teacher Sentenced Following Plea Deal
The former Clearfield substitute teacher charged with sexually abusing several young boys was sentenced to prison on Friday, January 4.
Judge John R. Morris sentenced 63-year-old Mark Bedel to three-years-to-life for two counts of first-degree felony attempted aggravated sexual abuse. These sentences will run consecutively with each other, so Bedel will not be eligible for parole for at least six years.
As part of a plea deal made in October 2018, five counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child were dismissed.
Investigators said that Bedel inappropriately touched several boys between the ages of 7 and 9 in a classroom at Wasatch Elementary School. At least five accusers came forward concerning sexual abuse in the elementary school classroom in September 2017.
An order for restitution in this case remains open.
Legal Recourse for School Sexual Abuse Victims and Their Families
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com helps survivors of sexual violence find justice in civil cases. We’ve asked him to share some insight regarding the legal options available to families affected by school employee sexual abuse:
Our schools must prioritize the safety of their students just as much as the quality of their education. Sadly, we live in a world where our communities must take preventative measures to make sure our children are safe from sexual predators. These predators often seek out positions of trust that involve working with kids, such as teaching. This is why it’s absolutely crucial for our schools to make sure job applicants are properly screened and that the school environment is safe from the risk of abuse.
When a teacher sexually abuses students, there are a few concerns to address. The abuser needs to be arrested and prosecuted and the victims, their families, and the community must get the support they need. In some cases, school districts also need to be held accountable for allowing the abuse to occur through negligence.
For example, a school district might be considered negligent for hiring a new teacher without first hiring a background check which could have revealed a history of sexual misconduct. When negligence contributes to abuse, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the school district.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of school sexual abuse, we understand the difficulties your family faces. To learn more about how your family can find justice through the civil court system, contact one of our experienced sexual abuse survivors attorneys.
News Coverage from ABC 4 Salt Lake City
Location of Wasatch Elementary School in Clearfield, UT