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Wade Russell
Former Utah youth home employee resolves sex case
First Published Sep 04 2014 02:54 pm • Last Updated Sep 04 2014 09:04 pm

A former employee of a Spanish Fork group home for troubled teens pleaded no contest Thursday in connection with sexually abusing four girls, ages 13 to 16, at the facility.

Wade Russell, 60, entered the pleas to 12 counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse.

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Russell — who committed the crimes while employed at Extended Family Services — faces up to 15 years in prison on each count when he is sentenced Oct. 16 by 4th District Judge James Taylor.

According to court documents, Russell performed various sex acts on the girls between February and November 2013.

One girl said that on Nov. 3, 2013, her third night at EFS, Russell went into her room, lay down next to her bed and fondled her over her clothing, according to charging documents.

Security camera footage from that time shows Russell’s feet "sticking out of the doorway as if he is lying down," court documents state. The girl’s roommate confirmed that Russell was lying close to the victim, prosecutors say.

Another victim told police that Russell sexually abused her on multiple occasions after she arrived at EFS in June 2013. She said that on Nov. 2, Russell asked her to join him in the laundry room because he could turn off the lights and escape the security cameras. Video from outside the laundry room shows Russell entering the laundry room and turning off the lights before the girl followed him inside, according to court documents.

She said Russell molested her then, and later the same day in her room.

Russell was initially charged with three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and one count each of forcible sodomy, sodomy of a child and attempted rape of a child, all first-degree felonies; and seven counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse; and two counts of third-degree felony dealing in material harmful to a minor.

shunt@sltrib.com


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