Charged #Logan #teacher had ‘student fantasies,’ #warrant says

LOGAN — As a Logan High School teacher accused of engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl awaits his initial appearance in court, investigators are working to determine if there are additional alleged victims.

Joseph Scott Harris, 57, of Nibley, Cache County, was charged in February in 2nd District Court with six counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, a third-degree felony. He was arrested Feb. 16 when Weber County sheriff’s deputies found him parked in a car in West Haven along with a teen girl, according to charging documents. Both were “in various states of undress,” police say.

The girl told police that the two had engaged in “multiple incidents of sexual activity” since the beginning of the year, according to the charges.

Harris told investigators he met the girl online and thought she was 19, “but admitted (she) looked young,” court documents state.

But according to a search warrant affidavit unsealed Thursday in 2nd District Court, “the 15-year-old female stated Scott was aware of her age and Scott would make statements during sex with reference to her underage status.”

The girl also claimed that Harris possessed nude photos of her and “would extort further sexual contact with the female by threatening to release the images,” according to the warrant. “It is believed that Scott has saved these images on a device either at his home or at his classroom at Logan High.”

When detectives questioned Harris, he “admitted to having ‘teacher-student’ fantasies and admitted to finding his own students attractive,” the warrant states. “Scott stated he has met with other girls with the dating sites but would not admit to intimate contact with students. … Scott has also admitted to sexual arrangements with other women.”

He told detectives he met “multiple” women on the dating app, Adult Friend Finder, according to the affidavit.

Investigators seized six external hard drives, two MacBook laptop computers, a flash drive and other electronic devices, according to the warrant.

As of Thursday, Weber County Sheriff’s Lt. Nate Hutchinson said no evidence has been found that there are additional victims. He could not comment on whether evidence was found that Harris was using various apps to chat with other underage girls, citing the ongoing investigation.

His initial appearance in court is scheduled for April 19.

Harris was placed on suspension from the school district after his arrest. He teaches skills and technical sciences, according to the school’s website. The warrant states that he taught video production to 180 students.