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It didn’t seem to matter what the teen treatment center did wrong. The state of Utah always gave it another chance.Sent Away is an investigative reporting podcast made in partnership with KUER, The Salt Lake Tribune and APM Reports, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.Subscribe now on Apple or Spotify.

Zion Hills Academy employee charged with sexual abuse of a minor

TTI Documents SLTrib Francisco Kjolseth.jpeg
Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune
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(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Teen treatment registry.

An employee at an Enoch residential treatment center for teen girls was arrested Tuesday after police say he kissed a 15-year-old girl while working at the facility.

Kylar Frederick Williams, 23, was charged Wednesday with a misdemeanor count of sexual abuse of a minor and with three misdemeanor counts of providing tobacco to a minor, which applies to electronic cigarettes, the charging documents state.

The man has since been fired from the treatment facility, according to the program’s director.

Police documents state that on Jan. 10, while Williams was working a shift at Zion Hills Academy, he kissed a 15-year-old resident at the facility “multiple times” and “grabbed her buttocks.” Police said there is video evidence of at least one incident where Williams kissed the girl and let her use a vaping device.

Williams is also suspected of allowing two other girls to use the vaping device in a bathroom at the facility.

Zion Hills Academy is a sister program to Havenwood Academy, another of Utah’s “troubled-teen” facilities located in Cedar City. Havenwood has previously come under fire for forcing girls to sit in a horse trough, a practice it described as “therapeutic discipline.”

Director of Havenwood Academy programs Ken Huey said in a statement that management personnel observed “possible misconduct” by Williams, who Huey said had been recently hired. Personnel immediately reported the matter to local police and licensing officials once security video appeared to confirm the suspicion, and Williams was immediately terminated.

Williams was booked into the Iron County jail Wednesday on a $2,000 bond.

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