LOGAN — An 18-year-old woman at the Logan River Academy, accused of molesting a younger student, has accepted a plea deal. Rachael Manard pleaded “no contest” to three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery and has been sentenced to continue treatment at the center.
Manard appeared in 1st District Court Tuesday morning. The “no contest” plea meant she admits prosecutors have sufficient evidence to show she committed the crime without admitting her guilt. It is has the same immediate effect as a guilty plea.
Police began investigating Manard in February after a 15-year-old girl at the academy claimed the defendant touched her inappropriately multiple times. The victim said her breasts and genitals were grabbed, sometimes several times a day.
Manard was arrested and held in the Cache County Jail for five-days until being released back to the school. She was originally charged with five counts of forcible sexual abuse, all second-degree felonies.
During Tuesday’s hearing, defense attorney David Perry explained that prosecutors agreed to reduce three of the charges and drop the remaining two against his client. As part of the deal, Manard also agreed to complete her education at the academy and receive her high school diploma.
Perry said the school’s administrators had placed Manard under 24-hour surveillance. They have also assigned her a private tutor to help her with her education.
Judge Brian Cannell agreed with the plea deal and gave Manard credit for the time she had already served in jail.
The Logan River Academy is a residential treatment center at 1683 US-89/91. The facility has a capacity of around eighty patients who generally stay at the program year-round.