A former employee of a La Verkin treatment center for troubled teenage girls will be tried on charges he sexually abused a 15-year-old patient.

Gene Allen Hallowell, 26, St. George, was bound over by 5th District Judge pro-tem Marlynn Lema following a preliminary hearing Tuesday. He has been charged with one count of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.Hallowell is accused of kissing and fondling a Washington state girl at the Cross Creek Manor.

The girl, now 16, testified she never resisted Hallowell's alleged advances or told other staff members about it because he was in a position of power.

"I was in their care; they had power over me," she said. "Any way I could get home, I would do it."

During the hearing, Washington County Deputy Attorney Brent Langston submitted into evidence a letter Hallowell had allegedly written to the girl during her last days at the manor.

Hallowell was fired from Cross Creek for unrelated reasons, administrators said.