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An employee at a live-in treatment school for troubled girls in Tooele County admitted Wednesday to having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student.

Jonathan R. Carver, 29, of Kaysville, pleaded guilty in 3rd District Court to five counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse.

He faces up to 15 years in prison on each count when he is sentenced Oct. 6 by 3rd District Judge Stephen Henriod.

Court documents detailing the original charges -- four counts of rape, two counts of forcible sodomy and one count of witness tampering -- indicate Carver had sex with the girl at least 20 times between October and December of 2008.

Carver and his wife were "house parents," responsible for taking care of eight girls every day as they underwent treatment for emotional and behavioral problems at Alpine Academy in Erda, according to the school's program director Janet Mulitalo.

Both Carver and his wife were fired when the school was informed of the investigation in mid-March, she said. They had worked there for eight months.

Students are typically struggling at home with emotional or behavioral problems, including depression, she said. Under the program's rules, male staff members are not supposed to be left alone with students, Mulitalo said.

But charging documents allege sexual contact between the two took place mainly in the house where the girls lived, and once in the attached quarters where he and his wife lived after the wife left to take a student to California. Another incident happened in a school van before Carver dropped the girl off at Salt Lake City International Airport for a flight to visit her home out of state, according to charging documents.

The investigation began after the girl returned home in December and her father became concerned that Carver and the girl were still in contact, Mulitalo said.