Ex-LDS official arrested in sex-registry probe

Published: Tuesday, July 31 2007 1:46 a.m. MDT

A 64-year-old man who was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1989 and removed from his calling in the First Quorum of the Seventy has been arrested for investigation of failing to register as a sex offender in Washington County.

George P. Lee, the church's first American Indian general authority, was excommunicated for "apostasy and other conduct unbecoming a member of the church."

In 1994, after being charged with first-degree aggravated sexual abuse of a child, Lee pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of third-degree felony attempted sexual abuse of a child and was sentenced to 18 months' probation.

The charges were made after a girl who had been a friend of Lee's family told police Lee had assaulted her while on conference trips from the time she was 9 until she was 12.

Lee was principal of the Tuba City High School in Arizona when he was charged.

Lee's arrest is the most recent of several arrests that have taken place in Washington County through a new, proactive sex offender registry program, said Washington County Sheriff's spokeswoman Stephanie Coots.

Lee could be charged with third-degree felony failure to register. He has not registered since 2001, but the sheriff's spokeswoman said officials have no reason to believe he has engaged in criminal sexual activity during the interval.


E-mail: rpalmer@desnews.com

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