Prosecutors accuse Park City graduates of sexual battery
UPDATE: The three graduates pleaded guilty to amended charges, which were dismissed upon the completion of terms in plea in abeyance agreements. According to court documents, Pederson’s charge was amended to a class B misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. Hall’s was amended to a class A misdemeanor count of disruption of activities in or near a school building. Lukrich’s was amended to a class A misdemeanor count of disrupting the operation of a school.
Three recent Park City High School graduates are facing charges after prosecutors say they sexually assaulted another person during a weight lifting class in Summit County last month.
According to court documents filed on May 29 in 3rd District Court at Silver Summit, the graduates, identified as Carter Hall, Bernhardt Pederson and Joseph Lukrich, are each charged with one count of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor. Hall was also charged with a class A misdemeanor count of stalking. All three are 18 years old.
Charging documents state that, on May 2, Hall pulled another person’s gym shorts down two times during the class. Then, while the person was lying on a bench press seat, Pederson “came over to him and placed his foot on (the person’s) testicles,” the documents state. Hall then sat on the person’s face, according to the charges.
Court documents also allege that, while the person was lying down, Lukrich also sat on his face and “gyrated so that his (genitals) were touching (the person’s) face.” The following day, charges state, Hall tried to push the person into a corner and made a sexual threat to him.
The documents state Trent Jarman, the high school’s resource officer, investigated the incident.
Melinda Colton, spokesperson for the Park City School District, said that the district was aware of the situation but was not able to confirm that it took place on school grounds. She was also not able to disclose any information about disciplinary actions taken against the graduates.
Greg Skordas, an attorney for Pederson, said in an interview that he doesn’t believe the defendants committed an illegal act.
“We’re disappointed that the police pursued it the way that they did,” he said. “We are hopeful that we will be able to resolve it.”
Attorneys for Hall and Lukrich did not respond to requests for comment.
Pederson and Lukrich are scheduled to appear in court for a roll call hearing on July 9. Hall’s initial court appearance is scheduled for June 25.
This article has been updated to include comment from Pederson’s attorney.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated all three defendants were charged with a class A misdemeanor count of stalking.
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The Park City Board of Education is on track to place a bond on the ballot this fall to improve district facilities. The top priorities would be to put ninth grade in the high school, eighth grade in the middle school and to augment preschool offerings by expanding elementary schools.