Utah youth center worker accused of allowing ‘choking game’

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah authorities have arrested youth treatment facility employee after deputies say he allegedly allowed residents to choke each other as part of a game.

Authorities say 20-year-old Tuakimoana Leota was charged Tuesday with two counts of felony child abuse.

Prosecutors say Sanpete County sheriff’s deputies were called to Oxbow Academy East last Friday after a 16-year-old boy was choked until he was unconscious.

Prosecutors accuse Leota of looking on as two residents choked each other as part of a game called “Cloud 9” or the “choking game.”

Online court records do not list an attorney for Leota who could comment on the allegations.

Oxbow Academy executives say they are cooperating with police and state licensing officials and that Leota was fired.

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