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EX-TEACHER FACES CHARGES OF SODOMIZING, RAPING TEEN

A former Provo High School drama teacher has been bound over for arraignment in 5th District Court on charges of raping and sodomizing a 15-year-old girl in February while on a school-sponsored trip.

After hearing testimony from the alleged victim at Wednesday's preliminary hearing, 5th Circuit Judge James Shumate said the prosecution proved there is probable cause to bind over Ben Carling, 30, Orem, on one count each of rape and forcible sodomy, both first-degree felonies. Investigators say the alleged incident took place Feb. 22 at the Thunderbird Motel. Provo School District records show that Carling was terminated on March 1.Carling is scheduled to be arraigned on July 10. He is currently being held in the Washington County Jail on $50,000 cash bail. He was arrested June 17 by Utah County authorities and held at the Utah County Jail until he was transferred to St. George on June 20.

The victim, now 16, testified she first met Carling, a first-year drama teacher, in early February. She was watching a rehearsal for a high school play when he asked her to be his director's assistant.

"I liked him," she said. "He was a neat person."

She said Carling invited her to go with other students to a drama convention in St. George. When they arrived in St. George, she said she went to a play at Dixie College and it was there that Carling allegedly wrote her a love letter that frightened her.

After the play, she said Carling asked her to come and watch a video in his motel room. She said another male student was in the room at the time, which made her more at ease. But later, the student left the room, and it was at that time that Carling allegedly sexually assaulted the girl.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney J. MacArthur Wright, the girl said she didn't remember anything about the incident until the first or second week of March when she started acting differently and went to see a psychiatrist.