07:35 GMT +326 April 2019
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    Sterling Van Wagenen, co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival

    Co-Founder of Sundance Film Festival Charged with Child Sexual Abuse

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    Sterling Van Wagenen, co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival and a former professor at the University of Utah, was charged on April 4 with sexually abusing a girl, who at the time was between seven and nine years old.

    Van Wagenen is charged with one count of felony sexual abuse and has not yet entered a plea, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. He was released after posting bail in the amount of $75,000, and his court date is scheduled for May 2.

    According to multiple reports, Steven Shapiro, Van Wagenen's attorney, has declined to comment on the allegations against his client.

    On February 15, Van Wagenen resigned from his teaching job at the University of Utah following the release of an audio recording in which he admits to molesting a minor in 1993. Prior to his resignation, he had been placed on administrative leave on February 5, University spokesman Chris Nelson told the Associated Press.

    Van Wagenen also worked at Brigham Young University (BYU), where he directed content for the university's broadcasting services. BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins told AP that Van Wagenen was employed as a film professor at the university from 1993 to 1999 and directed content for BYUtv from 2007 to 2010, during which time university officials didn't receive any sexual misconduct complaints about him.

    Van Wagenen's affiliation with Sundance ended in 1993, when he left the advisory board. His movie credits include the Academy Award-winning film "The Trip to Bountiful."

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    Tags:
    Sundance Film Festival, Sterling Van Wagenen, Child Molestation, child sexual abuse, film, United States, Utah
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