ST. GEORGE – A former school counselor and teacher pleaded guilty Thursday to engaging in sexual activity with a female student.
Heidi Tasso, 50, pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony charge related to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in 5th District Court before Judge John J. Walton.
While a third-degree felony can carry a prison term of up to five years, other sentencing recommendations may be considered by the judge, such as serving time in jail instead or being sentenced to serve several months of probation, or a mix of both.
Tasso will be sentenced Aug. 9.
The charge stems from a 2008 incident while Tasso was employed at Millcreek High School.
She and the teen had a “sexual encounter” while lying at Tasso’s home the night of June 2, 2008, according to court documents.
While at least two others individuals have levied allegations of sexual misconduct against Tasso, they have not resulted in additional criminal charges.
Tasso was originally hired by the Washington County School District in 1998. The school district learned about allegations against Tasso in September 2015 and launched an investigation. Tasso resigned nine days later.
A St. George Police investigation into the 2008 incident began in June 2016.
In November 2014, Tasso received a Human Rights Activist award at the annual Utah School Counselor Association Conference at Dixie State University. Recipients of the award are chosen based on nominations from colleagues for “understanding cultural differences and supporting the underserved student population.”
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.