The coach of Utah State University’s women’s rugby team has been arrested for investigation of unlawful sexual conduct with a teenager prior to her becoming coach. Tara Earl, 29, was arrested Thursday for investigation of four counts of unlawful sexual conduct.According to police she started a relationship with a 17-year-old girl in November of 2010. The girl turned 18 in January. Earl strongly denies all of the allegations against her.On Monday, she said her accuser made up the stories of sexual misconduct because the coach would not have a relationship with her. University spokesman Tim Vitale said Earl became coach of the USU rugby team in September after the alleged incidents occurred. Vitale said Earl was immediately removed from her coaching job, a volunteer position, when they heard of Earl’s arrest. “As you can imagine, the safety of our students and the community is our first priority,” Vitale said.”People are bringing up Penn State, but this is a completely different ball game. We don’t recruit students, we don’t pay the coaches and we don’t give scholarships for student rugby,” Vitale said.Vitale said that as of Monday night, Earl had not been officially charged. If Earl does go to court for the alleged charges and if she ends up being charged, then the university might take action of its own.”This might go to court, and that will follow its own course. However, she is a student, so there is a student judicial process that could come into play. That will follow any court action if any court action does occur,” he said.
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