Utah Highway Patrol trooper Bruce L. Turner, 47, has been charged with 15 felonies in connection with the sex abuse of a child.

SALINA, Sevier County — A Utah Highway Patrol trooper has been charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of a child over an eight-year period.

Bruce L. Turner, 47, started abusing a female relative when she was 6, according to police and charging documents. She is currently 14.

"This would occur on a weekly basis," according to an arrest warrant from the Sevier County Sheriff's Office.

The abuse stopped for two years when the girl moved away. It resumed in 2012 when she returned to Utah, according to charging documents.

The Sevier County Sheriff's Office was contacted on Dec. 30. "The victim gave graphic statements of how she has been abused by Turner," according to a prepared statement from the sheriff's office.

Turner was charged in Richfield's 6th District Court with 13 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, and single counts of sodomy on a child, a first-degree felony, and forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

He is being held in the Sevier County Jail on $270,000 bail. A judge on Thursday said the bail could be reduced to $20,000 once a protective order was in place for the victim and her siblings.

The Utah Highway Patrol released a brief statement Friday and declined to answer any additional questions.

"The Utah Highway Patrol was informed of the arrest of trooper Bruce Turner by the Sevier County Sheriff's Office. Turner was immediately placed on administrative leave.  The highway patrol will perform an internal review of trooper Turner's off-duty conduct."

Pat Reavy

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam