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pogi

Another Bishop and Sexual Misconduct

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

In jail they can have repentance. And pretty sure I could give you a long list of bishops that have abused, but haven't seen where they've been ex'd have you? If most have then I'll eat my words and apologize. It will be interesting to see how Jeff Head will do, if he'll be ex'd. This is current enough that we can see together. 

Not a Bishop, but Berchtold (Abducted in Plain Sight abuser) was not excommunicated.  He served prison time for the rape of a child plus other convictions.

He went on to serve  in a Bishopric too.

Edited by JulieM
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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, webbles said:

The biggest difference between the two cases is the age of the victim.  Wagnen's victim was under 14.  Head's victim was over 14.  Utah has different laws for under 14 and over 14.  It is first degree felony if it is under 14.  It is second degree felony if it is over 14.  And then Head was only convicted of "attempted forcible sexual abuse".  By saying it is "attempted", that lowers it to third degree felony.  The jury said he was guilty of "attempted forcible sexual abuse" instead of "forcible sexual abuse".

So the injustice is in two things: the jury didn't convict him of the second degree felony and Utah's laws use the age of 14 as a deciding factor in the severity of the felony.

Here's the law that Wagnen was convicted under: https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title76/Chapter5/76-5-S404.1.html

Here's the non-attempted version of the law that Head was convicted under: https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title76/Chapter5/76-5-S404.html  (I can't find the attempted version)

Thanks for doing the research and providing the info!

In reading your links it actually looks like under 14 or over 14, they are both second degree felonies (see section 3).  What made Van Wagnen's a first degree felony is that it was considered an aggravated sexual offense because he was in a position of trust. 

I wonder why he was only charged with "attempted" forcible sexual abuse?  It seems clear by his own admission that it was more than just an attempt.  On top of that, he was a trusted religious leader which should have made it a case of aggravated sexual abuse (section 4h), and he was also previously convicted of another sexual offense before this (section 4e).  That is 2 reasons why this should have been a case of aggravated sexual abuse. 

Quote

(2)    Forcible sexual abuse is:
(a)    except as provided in Subsection (2)(b), a felony of the second degree, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 15 years; or

At a minimum, this should have been what he was charged and convicted of - with the addition of aggravated charges.  He got off easy!

Edited by pogi
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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, pogi said:

seems clear by his own admission that it was more than just an attempt.  

Did he make the admission before or after being convicted?  If after, the jury might not have seen it as strong enough evidence.

Edited by Calm

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, strappinglad said:

I need someone to explain the math behind saying that 88 % of sex crimes are NOT reported? 

It varies, usually some type of survey asking people if they have been victims and then if they reported it....though some used to be guesses that were then repeated so much it was taken as fact.

Edited by Calm

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2 hours ago, strappinglad said:

I need someone to explain the math behind saying that 88 % of sex crimes are NOT reported? 

It is a bit of an extrapolation based on pretty good data but it is obviously hard to be accurate.

It also makes sense. Most sex crimes are perpetuated on family and people are less likely or able to speak out in those cases.

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7 hours ago, pogi said:

Given the sentencing guidelines how is it fair that Sterling Van Wagnen (as Tacenda pointed out) gets 6 years to life in prison, for essentially the same crime, when Mr Head only gets 4 months in jail (not even prison).  There is an injustice in there somewhere.  

I would also suggest that we don't need to bow to sentencing guidelines when they are unjust.  4 months is not enough for what this man has put multiple victims through.  If his sentence truly is inline with sentencing guidelines, then something needs to be done about changing sentencing guidelines.  

When you say they are "essentially" the same crime, what do you mean?  Do you not see any difference between "attempted" (an inchoate crime) and "aggravated" abuse?  Because the law sees a difference--a big difference. 

If you still disagree, I suggest that you read up on crimes and how sentencing guidelines work.  And then call your state representative.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, JulieM said:

That is 100 per cent on the abusers and that’s where your anger should he aimed.  Victims have every right (and should) speak out, defend themselves and expose any abuse.  This also helps keeps others from suffering for life because they were abused.

I think you are hearing voices that don't exist.  How in the world do you think I am angered towards a victim?  I didn't say such a ridiculous thing, and the context of what I said utterly conflicts with such a notion.

Truly, one of the most bizarre comments I've seen on this board.

Edited by PacMan
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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, PacMan said:

I think you are hearing voices that don't exist.  How in the world do you think I am angered towards a victim?  I didn't say such a ridiculous thing, and the context of what I said utterly conflicts with such a notion.

Truly, one of the most bizarre comments I've seen on this board.

No, I was agreeing with you that this will happen.  But that any anger should be aimed at the abuser for this.  That was my point (I should have been more clear. I wasn’t saying you had blamed the victim).  No one should be shamed like one of these boys was for speaking out.

Edited by JulieM
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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

In jail they can have repentance. And pretty sure I could give you a long list of bishops that have abused, but haven't seen where they've been ex'd have you? If most have then I'll eat my words and apologize. It will be interesting to see how Jeff Head will do, if he'll be ex'd. This is current enough that we can see together. 

Let's see that list and the proof that they have not had disciplinary action.

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3 hours ago, Calm said:

Did he make the admission before or after being convicted?  If after, the jury might not have seen it as strong enough evidence.

You may be right.  That I can't answer.  

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, PacMan said:

When you say they are "essentially" the same crime, what do you mean?  

I mean that a grown man and ecclesiastical leader used his position of trust to molest children in both cases.  That is what happened in both cases.  I have since learned that in making charges, the age of the victim being older or younger than 14 makes a difference.  I didn't know that before.  I thought that line was 18.  That is the only difference that I can see in what actually happened - one victim was under 14, the other was over. 

3 hours ago, PacMan said:

Do you not see any difference between "attempted" (an inchoate crime) and "aggravated" abuse?  Because the law sees a difference--a big difference. 

If you still disagree, I suggest that you read up on crimes and how sentencing guidelines work.  And then call your state representative.

No need to be condescending.  Of course I see the difference.  See my last post to webbles above. 

Edited by pogi

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4 hours ago, pogi said:

Thanks for doing the research and providing the info!

In reading your links it actually looks like under 14 or over 14, they are both second degree felonies (see section 3).  What made Van Wagnen's a first degree felony is that it was considered an aggravated sexual offense because he was in a position of trust. 

I wonder why he was only charged with "attempted" forcible sexual abuse?  It seems clear by his own admission that it was more than just an attempt.  On top of that, he was a trusted religious leader which should have made it a case of aggravated sexual abuse (section 4h), and he was also previously convicted of another sexual offense before this (section 4e).  That is 2 reasons why this should have been a case of aggravated sexual abuse. 

At a minimum, this should have been what he was charged and convicted of - with the addition of aggravated charges.  He got off easy!

It appears he was charged with forcible sexual abuse.  The article at https://www.ksl.com/article/46447192/ex-utah-church-leader-charged-with-sex-abuse-lewdness-involving-boys says

Quote

Jeffrey Byron Head, 54, a former bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is charged in 3rd District Court with two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony; and two counts of lewdness, a class B misdemeanor.

The article at https://www.ksl.com/article/46541841/jury-finds-ex-bishop-guilty-of-trying-to-sexually-abuse-teenage-boy says that the

Quote

Jurors also found him guilty of a lesser offense of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor, instead of a more severe count of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

and

Quote

Head was originally charged with another count of forcible sexual abuse, but prosecutors reduced the count to attempted forcible sexual abuse in February, court records show.

I tracked down the court document and the reason for the reduction is probably because it was about him putting the victim's hand on his thigh.  The victim couldn't remember if he touched anything more than the thigh so it would appear they only had enough evidence to charge with "attempted forcible sexual abuse".

I think the reason why the jurors didn't convict him of forcible sexual abuse and instead convicted him of sexual battery is because forcible sexual abuse requires "with intent to cause substantial emotional or bodily pain to any individual or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any individual".  Based of the news articles, I don't see that as being his intent. Since I'm not one of the jurors, I could be completely wrong.

He couldn't be charged with "aggravated forcible sexual abuse" because that version of the law isn't the same as "aggravated sexual abuse of a child".  The "aggravated forcible sexual abuse" is at https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title76/Chapter5/76-5-S405.html?v=C76-5-S405_1800010118000101 and it only is used if the actor causes harm, threatens harm, or has multiple actors.  Head didn't do any of those.

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2 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Let's see that list and the proof that they have not had disciplinary action.

Here is a list of several bishops that have sexually abused. The one below is one where he had his recommend confiscated. And there are a couple that were ex'd. I read through most, but I'm going to bed now. If I don't have nightmares after reading through these cases. I'll be lucky. 

https://mormonleaks.io/wiki/documents/6/60/INSTANCES_OF_CHILD_SEXUAL_ABUSE_ALLEGEDLY_PERPETRATED_BY_MEMBERS_OF_THE_CHURCH_OF_JESUS_CHRIST_OF_LATTER-DAY_SAINTS-2017-06.pdf

LDS Rex Furness, a Bishop in the LDS church was sentenced to two months in jail and seven years probation for sexually assaulting his teenage granddaughter. "The Idaho Falls Post Register reported the following on November 13, 1996: "A former state senator [Rex Furness] will be spending the next two months in jail for sexually battering his teenage granddaughter.... Furness will serve 60 days in the county jail, and seven years probation.... “He was also very active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, holding various titles, including bishop until he confessed the acts to his church and surrendered his temple recommend.” http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no92.htm “What he did not say in court was that the charge against him forced him to resign from the state senate." “Republican officials say they plan no disciplinary action now against Rigby Sen. Rex Furness, who has been charged with a felony count of sexual battery on a minor. The party was shaken following news Wednesday that Furness was charged in Madison County District court.” May 17, 1996 in Idaho Charges Take Gop Legislators By Surprise Republicans Express Shock, Plan No Action Against Furness Yet Associated Press http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1996/may/17/charges-take-gop-legislators-by-surprise/ March 26, 1997 in Idaho Court To Clarify Ex-Senator’s Probation Rules Associated Press

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Posted (edited)

Isn’t discipline delayed in cases where someone is charged with a crime to avoid influencing a jury, etc?

If so, older accounts depending on news reports may not have complete info if published prior to discipline councils. 

Plus not all news reports would include discipline info. 

The Church doesn’t usually release that info these days. 

His immediately surrendering his recommend doesn’t exclude excommunication happening at some later point. 

Edited by Calm
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7 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

 Shouldn’t we all be given as much chance for repentance as possible?

No. Not at the risk of allowing more children to be injured.

Please don't confuse someone's attempt at repentance as meaning they are suddenly worthy of complete trust. This is a huge hole in the LDS doctrinal understanding of repentance and forgiveness. Leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints need a wake up call in their comprehension and application of their doctrine and it's misguided culture created by Joseph Smith. To quote R.M. Nelson, I feel this is one of those corrupt practices that "crept into the church".

 

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Posted (edited)

403 error for link so do search on this quote for more info. 

Republican Furness was arrested Wednesday on a charge of sexual battery, and released on $20,000 bond. No preliminary hearing was scheduled.”

No mention of the Church though, so no help there. 

Some more here:

https://lmtribune.com/northwest/former-idaho-legislator-rex-furness-dies/article_d4addfb2-6237-536a-84f7-360846929374.html

He held several titles with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including bishop, until he was sentenced.”

So post sentencing something happened in terms of at least barring him from holding “titles” meaning likely limited to no leadership/teaching callings  

No mention of church here though additional details of Furness’ confession  And punishment

https://www.google.com/amp/www.spokesman.com/stories/1996/jun/11/senator-admitted-fondling-on-tape-prosecutors/%3famp-content=amp

https://www.google.com/amp/www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/mar/26/court-to-clarify-ex-senators-probation-rules/%3famp-content=amp

 

Edited by Calm
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15 hours ago, Tacenda said:

.................................. The sentence is terrible, especially when comparing the recent case of the Sundance Film Institute's co-founder Sterling Van Wagenen who got six years to life, and he fondled two people, such as this bishop did, pitiful!

 

14 hours ago, pogi said:

Given the sentencing guidelines how is it fair that Sterling Van Wagnen (as Tacenda pointed out) gets 6 years to life in prison, for essentially the same crime, when Mr Head only gets 4 months in jail (not even prison).  There is an injustice in there somewhere.  .................. 

Van Wagenen was sentenced by the same judge (Bernards-Goodman) for a different set of crimes in two counties, and he had made a plea deal to avoid an even harsher sentence.  There is no comparison between Head's third degree felony and misdemeanor and Van Wagenen's first degree felony (after the plea agreement).

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2 hours ago, Palerider said:

No. Not at the risk of allowing more children to be injured.

Please don't confuse someone's attempt at repentance as meaning they are suddenly worthy of complete trust. This is a huge hole in the LDS doctrinal understanding of repentance and forgiveness. Leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints need a wake up call in their comprehension and application of their doctrine and it's misguided culture created by Joseph Smith. To quote R.M. Nelson, I feel this is one of those corrupt practices that "crept into the church".

You misunderstood my reply. Earlier I stipulated that committing certain sins may put restrictions on future callings even after deep repentance. I don’t agree with the rest of your rant.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Here is a list of several bishops that have sexually abused. The one below is one where he had his recommend confiscated. And there are a couple that were ex'd. I read through most, but I'm going to bed now. If I don't have nightmares after reading through these cases. I'll be lucky. 

https://mormonleaks.io/wiki/documents/6/60/INSTANCES_OF_CHILD_SEXUAL_ABUSE_ALLEGEDLY_PERPETRATED_BY_MEMBERS_OF_THE_CHURCH_OF_JESUS_CHRIST_OF_LATTER-DAY_SAINTS-2017-06.pdf

LDS Rex Furness, a Bishop in the LDS church was sentenced to two months in jail and seven years probation for sexually assaulting his teenage granddaughter. "The Idaho Falls Post Register reported the following on November 13, 1996: "A former state senator [Rex Furness] will be spending the next two months in jail for sexually battering his teenage granddaughter.... Furness will serve 60 days in the county jail, and seven years probation.... “He was also very active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, holding various titles, including bishop until he confessed the acts to his church and surrendered his temple recommend.” http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no92.htm “What he did not say in court was that the charge against him forced him to resign from the state senate." “Republican officials say they plan no disciplinary action now against Rigby Sen. Rex Furness, who has been charged with a felony count of sexual battery on a minor. The party was shaken following news Wednesday that Furness was charged in Madison County District court.” May 17, 1996 in Idaho Charges Take Gop Legislators By Surprise Republicans Express Shock, Plan No Action Against Furness Yet Associated Press http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1996/may/17/charges-take-gop-legislators-by-surprise/ March 26, 1997 in Idaho Court To Clarify Ex-Senator’s Probation Rules Associated Press

Do you know if further discipline was exacted by the Church? How would you know if it had? In some of the reports excommunication was mentioned as a result. I have participated in a number of disciplinary councils, but the results have never been made public. 

One such event is one too many. 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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6 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Yet on this board, lots of folks are lambasting the Church for keeping records of such things. Which shall it be?

If someone is a convicted sex abuser, I think their file should contain that information.  Iirc, the discussion was about flagging gay member’s files and that’s a different thing entirely, imo.

Would you want a convicted child abuser to ever be alone with your child or grandchild?  

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1 hour ago, JulieM said:

the discussion was about flagging gay member’s files and that’s a different thing entirely, imo.

I got the impression it was any sin, including serious sexual ones, except perhaps for criminal ones.

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Whether it is in a person's church file or not is ... not AS important as people are making it out to be.  They will have to be on the sex offenders' registry for their entire lives.  And by virtue of that, they are not allowed BY LAW to do any activities involving minors.

I would CERTAINLY be for the idea of leadership being responsible for checking the registry any time someone is called to such positions.  They do that for boy scouts, why not youth, primary, and nursery?  Nowadays, it isn't even a formal background check.  Just look it up online.

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

I got the impression it was any sin, including serious sexual ones, except perhaps for criminal ones.

I agree. Not flagging files of homosexuals guilty of serious sexual sin would be a gross injustice. There is or should be no difference.

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