Counselor arrested for alleged inappropriate relationship with St. George teen

St. George News stock image | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Utah counselor was arrested Thursday after allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl from St. George he had counseled at a youth treatment facility.

Mart Clough, of Midvale, Utah, booking photo posted Nov. 2, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Mart “Marty” Clough, 32, of Midvale, was charged Oct. 12 in 5th District Court in St. George with four second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, along with a class A misdemeanor count of enticing a minor over the internet.

The investigation began in June when a St. George guidance counselor reported a sexual offense to police after a 17-year-old girl told her of the inappropriate relationship she had with Clough, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by St. George Police in support of an arrest warrant.

Earlier in the year, the teen had been a resident at the Copper Hills Youth Center, 5899 Rivendell Drive in West Jordan, according to charging documents. Clough was one of the girl’s counselors. After leaving the facility, the teen friended Clough on Facebook and later on Snapchat.

After accepting the girl’s Facebook friend request, Clough told the teen “he would need to unfriend her or he could get in trouble,” charging documents state, noting that Clough told the teen “they could still talk.”

Using text messages and several social media services, the communication between the two turned sexual, the charges state. The teen soon began sending Clough “numerous” sexual pictures and videos of herself at Clough’s request.

Authorities viewed cellphone text conversations between the two and served search warrants for the Facebook and Snapchat records, according to the charges.

“The records confirm Marty (Clough) asked for naked photos/videos of the victim and that he had planned to come to St. George to have sex with her,” charges state.

A $50,000 warrant was issued Oct. 16 for Clough’s arrest.

Clough was picked up by officers from the Division of Homeland Security and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Thursday before being transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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