Utah therapist who pleaded guilty to raping teenage patient sentenced to prison for up to life

A therapist who pleaded guilty to raping a patient at a Utah County youth treatment facility was on Monday sentenced to seven years to life in prison.

The therapist, 41-year-old Jason Scott Calder, of Bountiful, entered guilty pleas in November to first-degree felony rape, first-degree felony object rape, first-degree felony forcible sodomy, second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse and second-degree felony obstructing justice.

Calder sexually abused the 16-year-old girl during scheduled therapist sessions where he worked, at New Haven residential youth treatment facility in Utah County, according to charges filed in 4th District Court.

The crimes came to light when teenage girl told her new therapist that Calder had sexually abused her on more than 10 occasions between March and June last year.

Staff members and other residents had noticed inappropriate and unusual behavior, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. Calder scheduled therapy sessions with the teen late at night, and took her on walks outside of the center, which he did not do with other patients.

Calder became very friendly in the sessions, and told the teen things about his personal and private life that a therapist would not typically tell a patient, according to the sheriff’s office. During one session, Calder walked the teen to a secluded area in the woods behind the center, where he had sex with her, court documents state.

He reportedly told her she couldn’t tell anyone about their sexual relationship, “otherwise he could be arrested and charged,” court documents state.

Calder discovered that the teenager had “written information in her journal that might incriminate him and he directed her to blot it out with a black Sharpie, which she did,” documents state.

Officials from New Haven did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Calder also worked at an unnamed facility in Salt Lake County as recently as September.

Four counts of object rape and eight counts of forcible sexual abuse were dismissed in exchange for Calder’s guilty pleas.