Benchmark employee accused of having sex with teenage boy

Friday , May 15, 2015 - 4:18 PM

By LORETTA PARK
Standard-Examiner staff

WOODS CROSS -- A 25-year-old employee of a mental health facility is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old patient and could be facing four life prison sentences. 

Brenda Lynn Elkface was booked in the Davis County Jail on Thursday and was released on a $150,000 bail.

The Davis County Attorney’s Office filed formal charges in 2nd District Court on Monday. No court date has been scheduled. Elkface is charged with two counts of rape, two counts of forcible sodomy and one count of forcible sexual abuse. The first four charges carry life sentences, if Elkface is convicted.

Woods Cross police were contacted when a 16-year-old boy reported he had sex with Elkface, said Woods Cross Police Sgt. Ekolu Delos Santos. 

Elkface was a mental health worker at the facility and the boy was an inpatient, Delos Santos said.

Delos Santos said Elkface worked at Benchmark Behavioral Health Systems, at 592 W. 1350 South, in Woods Cross. He does not know how long she had been at the facility.  

According to the probable cause statement filed in 2nd District Court, Elkface had sex with the boy at least six times between January and March. 

According to Benchmark’s website, the facility “serves a diverse population of adolescent and young adult males, ages 13 to 20.” 

Joel Hoffman, bureau director of the state’s Health Facilities Licensing & Certification, said Benchmark notified the bureau of the allegations. 

“The individual was terminated from her position immediately,” Hoffman said. 

Benchmark administrators contacted Woods Cross police and Child Protective Services on April 1 after Benchmark did their own investigation, Hoffman said. 

“Other staff thought they saw something suspicious and immediately reported it,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman said Benchmark is a psychiatric hospital that works primarily with juveniles from out-of-state. 

Hoffman said this is the first incident he is aware of involving a staff member and patient that has been reported to the state concerning the facility. 

Benchmark chief executive officer Craig Scholnick, said Elkface worked at the facility from November of 2014 until March 21, when she was terminated. 

He said Elkface was a mental health worker at the facility.

Scholnick issued a statement by email Friday afternoon.

It says, “Benchmark Behavioral Health has been providing specialized care and transforming lives since 1986. We are committed to the safety, welfare and privacy of our clients and family members. Due to the nature and sensitivity of this situation we cannot speak to the specific details related to the case in question. However, disclosure and reporting procedures were promptly initiated and we have cooperated fully and collaboratively with law enforcement and regulatory agencies to investigate this matter. Benchmark has a very prescriptive and thorough background screening policy that ensures that all potential employees are cleared through the local and federal background screening process prior to working in the facility.”

Contact reporter Loretta Park at 801-625-4252 or lpark@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @LorettaParkSE. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SELorettaPark.

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