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Former W. Bountiful mayor, Church leader suspect in years-long child sex abuse case


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1 minute ago, Teancum said:

It breaks my heart anytime a child has to deal such soul destroying issues. When I hear it is a Church member, it crushes my soul. 

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7 minutes ago, Metis_LDS said:

It say this content is not available in your country.  Perhaps you can explain it a bit for those outside the USA.

From the article:

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Police say they were able to get in contact with three of Johnson’s victims–whose abuse took place from 1985 to 1996 in Johnson’s home is Davis County while the victim’s were in the age range of five to 12–and conduct interviews with all of them. It is important to note that DCSO says that these three individuals were all victimized while Johnson “held a position of trust” over them, and were “told not to tell anyone else about what happened to them.”

The man has been a Bishop and mayor. Article doesn’t specify what “position of trust” was. 

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20 minutes ago, Metis_LDS said:

It say this content is not available in your country.  Perhaps you can explain it a bit for those outside the USA.

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WEST BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC4) – A former mayor of West Bountiful and bishop for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing at least six children over the course of several years.

Carl Johnson, 77, is facing five counts of First Degree Felony Aggravated Sex Abuse of a Child and two counts of Second Degree Felony Aggravated Sex Abuse of a Child.

The Davis County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) says that Johnson was arrested on in Orem on Sept. 7 in regards to an investigation that has been ongoing for years.

Police say they were able to get in contact with three of Johnson’s victims–whose abuse took place from 1985 to 1996 in Johnson’s home is Davis County while the victim’s were in the age range of five to 12–and conduct interviews with all of them. It is important to note that DCSO says that these three individuals were all victimized while Johnson “held a position of trust” over them, and were “told not to tell anyone else about what happened to them.”

DCSO says that while interviewing Johnson regarding these incidents as well as other possible crimes he has committed, he admitted to touching Victims 1 and 2 inappropriately as touching Victim 3 inappropriately over her clothing.

Police records add that Johnson also admitted to inappropriately touching other victims, estimating that “there was more than six victims as young as two-years-old.” DCSO notes that Johnson “used his position of trust to influence any disclosures” that were made, and “admitted that he has a problem controlling his sexual urges and has struggled with this problem for most of his life.”

While DCSO says that other cases of abuse regarding Johnson are currently being investigated and have not yet come to a conclusion, he has since been booked into the Davis County Jail on the charges previously listed.

A statement from DCSO Captain Taylor West regarding this case reads as follows:

“Today, we are thinking about the victims who bravely came forward and shared their stories. Without their willingness to recount the abuse they suffered, others may have continued to be victimized by Johnson.”

Sam Penrod, Church spokesperson stated the following regarding Johnson’s arrest: 

 

“The allegations against this individual are serious and deeply troubling. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no tolerance for abuse of any kind. Those who engage in abusive behavior are rightfully subject to prosecution by legal authorities and also face loss of Church membership.”

If you have any further information on Carl Johnson or his potential victims, you’re advised to contact the DCSO non-emergency dispatch at (801) 451-4150.

 

Gina Colvin Shared this on FB:

 

 
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The husband half of a couple missionary in our ward 8 years ago was arrested in Utah this week on several accounts of child sexual abuse. He has already admitted to these charges stating that he has had an ongoing struggle with these 'urges' throughout his life. The abused children were very young and include toddlers.
During the period of his offending he held positions of trust and responsibility in the church and the community.
I am calling on the New Zealand Wellington Mission President and the Christchurch Stake leadership to announce these charges and to put in place the necessary steps to allow for concerns to be raised by parents and others whose children might have been affected while this missionary was serving here.
We would all be heartened if due diligence was done in the interests of the community rather silence kept for the 'reputation' of the institution.
And as a side note the church spokesman says that the LDS Church has zero tolerance for abuse. I'm calling bull on that and unless you want me to fill this thread with stories of church related sexual abuse that were handled with inexcusable tolerance for the perpetrator - don't fight me.
I knew this couple and particularly enjoyed the Sister with whom I had several enjoyable theological conversations. My only interest is in proper pastoral procedure for the local community.
The current Mission President of the Wellington New Zealand Mission is David Thomson.
The Christchurch Stake President is Uliki Moea Pongia.

 

 
I agree with the bolded items.
Edited by Teancum
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3 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

From the article:

The man has been a Bishop and mayor. Article doesn’t specify what “position of trust” was. 

He was bishop back in the 70s before the victims so it wasn't because he was bishop.  It could be other callings, such as primary, etc.

He was mayor, though, during the time period.  It is also possible that victims were friends of his daughters as he has 8 daughters and they look to have been the right age during that time period.

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I hope our government can put more controls in place to stop the abuse of children by mayors.  They take an oath of office and should be expected to live up to it.  This is a terrible story about the failure of our government to protect the most vulnerable in our society.

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Maybe it's time to admit our processes are not working and its time for a new revelation.  Instead of relying on being called of God, by prophecy, we need to add background and psychiatric testing.  Sam Young, a former Bishop raised a red flag about LDS practices concerning adult interviews with children and advocated for much more transparency.  Of course he was excommunicated.  Another threat neutralize?  Perhaps not. Perhaps the the real threat to the church is in antiquated processes and leaders who are in office long past their prime, and have lost touch with the reality of the current times.

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19 minutes ago, gopher said:

I hope our government can put more controls in place to stop the abuse of children by mayors.  They take an oath of office and should be expected to live up to it.  This is a terrible story about the failure of our government to protect the most vulnerable in our society.

The article said he a Mormon bishop who abused the children in interviews in his home.   I hope the church can put more controls in place to stop the abuse of children by their leaders. 

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1 minute ago, sunstoned said:

The article said he a Mormon bishop who abused the children in interviews in his home.   I hope the church can put more controls in place to stop the abuse of children by their leaders. 

The abuse in the article is from 1985 to 1996.  He was released as bishop in 1979, here's the newspaper article announcing his release: https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=1016613&page=2&facet_paper="Davis+County+Clipper"&q="Carl+Johnson"

He was elected the mayor of West Bountiful in 1990 (https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=22526228&page=5&q="Carl+Johnson"&facet_paper="Davis+County+Clipper") and appears to have been mayor for at least two terms.

So, most of the abuse occurred while he was mayor.  None of it occurred while he was bishop.

 

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10 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

Maybe it's time to admit our processes are not working and its time for a new revelation.  Instead of relying on being called of God, by prophecy, we need to add background and psychiatric testing.  Sam Young, a former Bishop raised a red flag about LDS practices concerning adult interviews with children and advocated for much more transparency.  Of course he was excommunicated.  Another threat neutralize?  Perhaps not. Perhaps the the real threat to the church is in antiquated processes and leaders who are in office long past their prime, and have lost touch with the reality of the current times.

I'm not against that change but I just don't see how that would have helped in this specific case.  He was bishop years before the abuse occurred.  And since no one knew of the abuse, his later callings (such as the couple mission to New Zealand) would not have been affected as a background check wouldn't find it and neither would a psychiatric testing.

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9 minutes ago, webbles said:

The abuse in the article is from 1985 to 1996.  He was released as bishop in 1979, here's the newspaper article announcing his release: https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=1016613&page=2&facet_paper="Davis+County+Clipper"&q="Carl+Johnson"

He was elected the mayor of West Bountiful in 1990 (https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=22526228&page=5&q="Carl+Johnson"&facet_paper="Davis+County+Clipper") and appears to have been mayor for at least two terms.

So, most of the abuse occurred while he was mayor.  None of it occurred while he was bishop.

 

He lived at the end of the street in my childhood neighborhood, but we moved in 1979, he gave me the heebie jeebies even back then. He might have been my bishop and I don't even remember!! His photo in the city hall looks much different than he looked back then, he was thinner and darker hair. We moved when I was 15, and I sincerely don't remember knowing him very well. I wonder if I was going through a rebellion back then, and may have rebelled against going to interviews. 

Edited by Tacenda
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50 minutes ago, gopher said:

I hope our government can put more controls in place to stop the abuse of children by mayors.  They take an oath of office and should be expected to live up to it.  This is a terrible story about the failure of our government to protect the most vulnerable in our society.

And the LDS Church as well.

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23 minutes ago, webbles said:

The abuse in the article is from 1985 to 1996.  He was released as bishop in 1979, here's the newspaper article announcing his release: https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=1016613&page=2&facet_paper="Davis+County+Clipper"&q="Carl+Johnson"

He was elected the mayor of West Bountiful in 1990 (https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=22526228&page=5&q="Carl+Johnson"&facet_paper="Davis+County+Clipper") and appears to have been mayor for at least two terms.

So, most of the abuse occurred while he was mayor.  None of it occurred while he was bishop.

 

Ummm no.  It just says that those who came forward were during that period.  The article also note:

 

Quote

Police records add that Johnson also admitted to inappropriately touching other victims, estimating that “there was more than six victims as young as two-years-old.” DCSO notes that Johnson “used his position of trust to influence any disclosures” that were made, and “admitted that he has a problem controlling his sexual urges and has struggled with this problem for most of his life.”

This  sounds like the man has had an  ongoing problem with abuse and likely had been doing it for a long time even when he was a bishop.

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21 minutes ago, webbles said:

I'm not against that change but I just don't see how that would have helped in this specific case.  He was bishop years before the abuse occurred.  And since no one knew of the abuse, his later callings (such as the couple mission to New Zealand) would not have been affected as a background check wouldn't find it and neither would a psychiatric testing.

So much for discernment. And you do not know, as I just noted, that there was no abuse earlier.  So stop saying that.

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25 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Ummm no.  It just says that those who came forward were during that period.  The article also note:

 

This  sounds like the man has had an  ongoing problem with abuse and likely had been doing it for a long time even when he was a bishop.

 

24 minutes ago, Teancum said:

So much for discernment. And you do not know, as I just noted, that there was no abuse earlier.  So stop saying that.

I'm talking about just what has been discovered and announced.  Also, the AP article, states:

Quote

Investigators say Johnson acknowledged abusing three victims in 1985, 1993 and 1996 and estimated there was a total of six victims as young as 2-years-old, according to the document. He told investigators he had struggled “controlling his sexual urges” most of his life.

So, they only believe that there were 6 victims.  The abuser has acknowledged only 3.

Could there be more than 6?  Sure.  But with the information we have, this is not related to his calling as a bishop.  I'm trying to find that document so I can see what it actually says.  I really wish news articles would link to the sources when it is publicly available.

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1 hour ago, gopher said:

I hope our government can put more controls in place to stop the abuse of children by mayors.  They take an oath of office and should be expected to live up to it.  This is a terrible story about the failure of our government to protect the most vulnerable in our society.

Not sure if sarcasm……..

The role of mayor though doesn’t really involve access to children in general anyways.

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I found the "probable cause" document.  It really reads like the three cases are his daughters or relatives.  It involves bathing them and entering their bedroom when they slept.

The last part of it, though, says:

Quote

Johnson has showed a long history of sexual abuse of children some as young as 2 years old. Johnson admitted that he has a problem of controlling his sexual urges and has struggled with this problem for most of his life. Carl has held numerous positions of trust in his church as being a bishop in the LDS church and as a prior mayor of a Bountiful. There are currently other cases of abuse being investigated and have not come to a conclusion.

So, they are investigating other cases.  We'll see when those cases happened and what "position of trust" he had over them.

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From the SLTrib article https://www.sltrib.com/news/2022/09/08/former-utah-mayor-lds-bishop/

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Another alleged victim reported Johnson inappropriately touched her in a shower when she was 5 years old in the mid-1980s. And a third said she was a preteen in 1993, when Johnson allegedly laid in bed with her and touched her inappropriately.

I want to know how either of these incidents could happen regardless of whether he was in a church or community position. Where was everyone else when these things were happening?

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34 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

It happens in crowds, in public, in private, in homes, in schools, in churches, in families, in bedrooms, in living rooms, no one is impervious to the sneaky behaviors of abusers.  It happens with people who are and who are not "trustworthy."  

Sure but from the abc4 article

Quote

Police say they were able to get in contact with three of Johnson’s victims–whose abuse took place from 1985 to 1996 in Johnson’s home is Davis County while the victim’s were in the age range of five to 12–and conduct interviews with all of them. It is important to note that DCSO says that these three individuals were all victimized while Johnson “held a position of trust” over them, and were “told not to tell anyone else about what happened to them.”

What was the position of trust that had these victims showering and sleeping at his home?

Quote

“used his position of trust to influence any disclosures” that were made

I doubt people of the age the victims were would know/care about him being a mayor (or even what a mayor is)

None of them were alive when he was Bishop, so they wouldn't recognise him as a Bishop.

 

Is this yet another case of family-member perpetrated sexual assault?

edit: It looks like webbles is asking the same question.

Edited by JustAnAustralian
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2 hours ago, sunstoned said:

The article said he a Mormon bishop who abused the children in interviews in his home.

No, it says the abuse happened in his home. The interviews were by the police (note the use of the em-dashes)

Quote

Police say they were able to get in contact with three of Johnson’s victims–whose abuse took place from 1985 to 1996 in Johnson’s home is Davis County while the victim’s were in the age range of five to 12–and conduct interviews with all of them

 

Edited by JustAnAustralian
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