Park City driving instructor charged with sexual battery
Misdemeanor charges accuse him of inappropriate touching during lesson
A well-known Park City driving instructor has been charged with three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery and has been ordered not to give individual driving lessons with minors following an alleged incident in late April.
According to court documents, a 17-year-old girl alleges that Dan Paul Hunter, 58, touched her inappropriately three times during a driving lesson. She also alleges that he made comments that made her uncomfortable.
Hunter’s attorney, Jarom Bangerter, declined to comment about the allegations when reached by The Park Record.
Bangerter, however, indicated in a court filing that Hunter’s long record as a driving instructor shows that he does not act inappropriately with students.
“Mr. Hunter has over 17 years of successful driver education where he has taught thousands of young men and women to safely drive the roads of Park City,” Bangerter wrote in the filing.
Hunter is charged in Summit County’s 3rd District Court with three counts of sexual battery, all class A misdemeanors, which carry a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and a $2,500 fine each.
The allegations stem from an individual driving lesson on April 28. According to court documents filed by the Summit County Attorney’s Office, the teen had requested that others be present during the lesson but found out on the day of the lesson that she was the only student.
In a response to the county’s filing, Hunter denies that the teen requested a private lesson and indicated that he did not have anything to do with the fact that no other students had signed up for that time slot.
When the teen got into the car, the steering wheel was too low and she asked Hunter how to adjust it, according to court documents. He then allegedly leaned over and adjusted the steering wheel and lingered while his arm was between her legs.
During the lesson, which took place on the roads around Deer Valley Resort, according to court documents, Hunter allegedly touched the teen’s breasts with his forearm twice as he was indicating for her to turn left.
The teen also alleges that Hunter made a comment that her ex-boyfriend was “a lucky guy,” according to court documents.
Hunter is not in custody and his attorney said in a Thursday hearing that Hunter continues to teach driving lessons, having given about 40 of them during the previous two weeks. In an earlier hearing, 3rd District Court Judge Richard Mrazik ordered Hunter not to have any contact with the accuser, but allowed him to continue his work as a driving instructor.
At the hearing Thursday, Mrazik granted the county’s request to reconsider those conditions and ordered Hunter not to have unsupervised contact with anybody under the age of 18 in his capacity as a driving instructor.
Hunter’s next hearing is set for Aug. 9.
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