Davis County teacher pleads guilty to sexual assault

By Jason Nguyen

Published 01/23 2014 08:05PM

Updated 01/23 2014 08:39PM

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A Davis County judge heard Stephen Paul Niedzwiecki plead guilty to sexually molesting a former student.

Niedzwiecki showed up to court dressed in a black suit with a white shirt and grayish tie.

The 34-year-old man plead guilty to having sexual relations with one of his students. The student was 15 years old at the time of the relationship.

The victim Jamie Heiner walked by Niedzwiecki as she came to stand next to prosecutor. Niedzwiecki did not acknowledge her presence.

She told Judge Michael Allphin, the teacher stole 3-years of her life. She said he added shame to her well being and made her feel hopeless after grooming her for sexual abuse.

According to court documents the victim needed help with an assignment in 9th grade. Niedzwiecki offered his guidance. The two began texting, emailing and meeting with each other over time. The victim said the kissing began when she was fifteen but it soon escalated there after in 2011.

Niedzwiecki was originally charged with eight counts of forcible sodomy, one count of attempted rape. All 9 charges are first degree felonies. And, two counts of forcible sexual abuse a second degree felony. He plead not guilty to all charges in June of 2013.

Since the original charge, the case The State of Utah vs Wadkins changed the way the state can try a person of "special trust."

The ruling defined when and where "special trust" can be applied to a person. Since the victim was sexually abused after she was finished with the Niedzwiecki class, he cannot be charged with the first degree charges.

This lead Niedzwiecki to plead guilty to lesser charges.  He plead to two counts of unlawful sexual acts with a minor and two counts of sexual acts with a 16/17-year-old.

Heiner wants to change the law. She has been working with lawmakers for the new law called Jaime's law.  Her hope is that the special trust with a person of authority will be seen well after the current law states.

Judge Allphin set a sentencing of Niedzwiecki to March 21st, 2014 at 9 a.m.

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