Prosecutors filed 10 felony charges Wednesday against Tyler Agustin Jex, a former teaching aide for deaf children in Utah, alleging he raped and sexually assaulted multiple students.
It has been a long time coming for parents of alleged abuse victims who for years have been wondering if they were being ignored and abandoned.
The only case to move forward before these new charges involved an accusation that he solicited sex from an underage girl. On July 11, Jex stood awkwardly before 3rd District Judge Judith Atherton. With his rail-thin frame, large glasses and tousled dark hair, the 28-year-old looked more like a high school student who had wandered mistakenly into the West Jordan courtroom.
Jamie Greenwood, who sat in the gallery that day for what turned out to be a procedural hearing that was continued, said she knew what Jex was capable of. She said he began sexually abusing her deaf daughter in 2012 at the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf in Salt Lake City.
Jex, a student teaching aide at the time, repeatedly lured her then 11-year-old daughter into a bathroom to grope her and then paid her to keep it quiet, she — and now prosecutors — allege. Greenwood and other families have been asking for years how such a man could slip past so many authorities for so long.
Greenwood challenges the Utah Deaf and Blind School for not believing her daughter, she also questioned a state law that will not allow her, the mother of a victim to access the Division of Child and Family Services investigation report into the abuse — a report that actually determined the abuse took place. Under state law only the alleged abuser, Jex, can see those documents.
David and Daniela Malepeai are baffled why it was that even though they had Jex’s Facebook messages allegedly admitting to having abused their deaf and developmentally disabled daughter that charges weren’t brought against him.
To be clear, Jex has not been convicted of any sexual crimes against minors. And his attorney, Ed Brass, said Thursday that “Mr. Jex maintains his innocence.”
The school has also denied that it ignored any complaints from Greenwood’s daughter.
Last month, The Utah Investigative Journalism Project sent a detailed list of victim allegations to the Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office. Spokesperson Ben Haynes would only say that “We are aware of the allegations and we are investigating.”
On Wednesday, prosecutors filed the 10 new felony charges against Jex, alleging he assaulted three victims on multiple occasions. A $500,000 warrant was issued against him.