Former BYU professor sentenced to 2 years of probation in sex abuse case

Michael James Clay. Photo: Brigham Young University

PROVO, Utah, June 26, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — A former Brigham Young University associate professor accused of sexually abusing three students was sentenced Monday to two years of probation after pleading no contest to reduced charges.

Michael James Clay, 48, was charged in June 2020 with two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, for allegedly touching students inappropriately in January and February 2020 while working in BYU’s geography department.

On May 8, Clay pleaded no contest to three class A misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, one for each student.

Clay will serve no jail time under the sentence issued by 4th District Judge Sean Petersen, who ordered the Springville man to serve 24 months of probation, 50 hours of community service and complete a sexual boundaries course. The sentence also stipulates no contact with the victims.

Clay’s statement filed in Provo’s 4th District Court says he “intentionally touched the buttocks of three adult women.”

“It was under circumstances I should have known it would cause affront or alarm,” it concludes.

Clay was no longer employed by BYU when charges were filed in June 2020.

Charging documents say the illegal touching took place in his Provo office and his vehicle.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here