05/19/2015 02:18 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Utah Sheriff Arrests Youth Camp Worker For Alleged Sexual Assault Of 5 Boys

A staff member at a home for boys with behavioral issues in Utah was arrested last week for "performing sexual acts" with five juveniles.

Katherine Lynn Estep, 44, of Payson, Utah, was arrested on suspicion of five counts of forcible sodomy and seven counts of sexual abuse of a minor, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Further information about when the alleged abuse took place or the age of the victims was not available.

Lt. Brent Pulver with the Juab County Sheriff's Office told The Huffington Post Tuesday that Estep has been booked, but that the district attorney has yet to file charges.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Estep after they were called to the Journey Program's Impact Ranch in Mona to investigate reports of a female employee "performing sexual acts with five juvenile victims," according to a release from the sheriff's office obtained by the Tribune. Impact Ranch describes itself on its website as a program "for boys with moderate behavioral problems."

youth program
Katherine Lynn Estep

The person who answered the phone at the Impact Ranch told The Huffington Post the organization is not commenting on Estep's arrest.

The facility, which has a contract with the state, provides boys between the ages of 13 and 18 access to group therapy and a therapist "at least once a week," according to the camp's site. The 13 boys at the ranch will be transferred to other facilities, Utah's Department of Human Services spokeswoman Heather Barnum told the Deseret News.

"We are already in the process," Barnum said, "to find an alternative program that best meets their individual needs."

Dominick Ludwick, who recently left the program, told local television station KSL that Estep let him use an electronic cigarette and a cell phone, both of which are prohibited under the camp's policies. Ludwick also said that he was unaware of the sexual abuse.

"She would let us do whatever we wanted pretty much," Ludwick told the station.



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