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Southern Utah psychiatric center employee pleads not guilty to abuse

An employee of a youth psychiatric center in Utah has been accused of pulling a teenage girl’s hair and punching her.
An employee of a youth psychiatric center in Utah has been accused of pulling a teenage girl's hair and punching her.
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ST. GEORGE — An employee of a youth psychiatric center in Utah has been accused of pulling a teenage girl's hair and punching her.

The Spectrum newspaper reported Tuesday that 38-year-old Gino Sanchez pleaded not guilty last week to a misdemeanor charge of child abuse involving physical injury.

Court documents say Sanchez assaulted the 17-year-old student after a brawl erupted inside the Red Rock Canyon School in St. George in April.

The fight injured multiple residents and staffers.

Sanchez told police that he pushed the teen away with an open hand after she hit other staff members and him.

Red Rock Canyon School officials did not respond to the newspaper's requests for comment.