Former Alaska Youth Leader Pleads Guilty to 'Lewdness'
FAIRBANKS — A former Alaskan statewide youth leader will spend two months in jail after pleading guilty to the crime of “lewdness involving a child,” for molesting an Alaska high school student in the group he led.
Jeffrey Wade Werner, 47, was charged last spring in Garfield County in southern Utah, one of the sites he took teenagers on trips with the FFA, the organization formerly known as Future Farmers of America.
Werner entered a plea agreement earlier this month. Under the plea agreement, the original charge of forcible sexual abuse, a felony, was changed to the misdemeanor charge of lewdness involving a child.
According to information from the Utah court, Werner has paid $10,000 restitution to his victim and a $1,000 fine. He is to report to a county jail Garfield County Utah by Sept. 16 to serve one month in jail, then return in January for another month.
Werner led several high school groups on overnight field trips between 2006 and 2009 when he led the state FFA organization.
One young man told Alaska State Troopers in 2011 that while he was in high school he spent about 60 nights on FFA trips with Werner, including a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park that led to the criminal charge. The man said Werner made a habit of sharing a hotel room with him and touching him inappropriately. During the investigation the victim contacted Werner while wearing a secret recorder and got him to admit and apologize for the past sexual abuse and apologize for it.