Staff member at school in southern Utah arrested for alleged sexual abuse
TOQUERVILLE, Utah — Deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office have taken a 22-year-old male into custody following alleged sexual abuse of two minors.
According to the probable cause statement, Paul Anthony Nichols was a staff member at Lava Heights Academy in Toquerville. He began working there on Sept. 9, 2022.
The two victims were interviewed separately on Oct. 20 at the Children’s Justice Center in St. George. The first victim stated the abuse began three days after Nichols began working there.
On Thursday, detectives with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Nichols about the alleged sexual abuse allegations. According to the probable cause statement, he admitted to the allegations.
The probable cause statement says Nichols was then arrested without incident and booked into the Washington County Jail. He was booked for investigation of six counts of sexual abuse of a minor and three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Additionally, Nichols was booked for investigation of two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has asked that Nichols be held without bail.
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