Moser convicted on all counts
Ex-RMS teacher could face 110 years in prison for sexual abuse of students
By Trudy Balcom
RAWLINS — A former Rawlins Middle School teacher was convicted Thursday night on four counts of sexual abuse of a minor.
Jonathon Moser, 34, was found guilty on four counts of sexual abuse of a minor — one first-degree count and three second-degree counts.
Moser was a special education teacher and girls volleyball coach during the 2014-2015 school year at Rawlins Middle School. His victims included former students.
The jury, made up of six men and six women, deliberated for nearly nine hours before handing down a verdict at about 7:20 p.m. on Thursday.
The trial began Tuesday and heard from nearly 20 witnesses. Jurors began deliberating at around 10:40 a.m. Thursday.
A few members of the victims’ and defendant’s families were on hand to hear the verdict.
The Clerk of Court, Mara Sanger, read aloud the charges and the jury’s guilty verdict for each one. As she read the guilty verdict for the final charge handed down — sexual assault of a minor in the first degree — the families of the victims and the wife of the defendant broke down in tears.
Moser remained unmoved.
Upon his conviction, Judge Wade Waldrip revoked Moser’s bond, ordered a pre-sentence investigation and an addiction severity index evaluation as part of the standard sentencing protocol.
Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
Sheriff Jerry Colson and Undersheriff Archie Roybal were on hand to take Moser into custody. They escorted him to a private exit at the back of the courtroom after they cleared the courtroom.
The maximum sentence the court could impose for all four counts for which Moser was convicted would be 110 years in prison. The maximum sentence for first-degree sexual abuse of a minor is 50 years and the maximum sentence for second-degree sexual abuse of a minor is 20 years.
In her closing argument, Carbon County Prosecutor Dawnessa Snyder used a quote from Nelson Mandela — just as she did with her opening statement: “Teaching is the most powerful weapon to change the world.”
Moser, she said, had abused that power.
“Every chance he had to influence those students, he did, for his own sexual gratification,” Snyder said, noting that some of his alleged victims were special education students.
Moser still faces a trial on additional sex abuse charges in Converse County.
Moser was arraigned in Converse County on May 4 on two counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor. He pleaded not guilty.
A trial date in Converse County has not yet been set.