Mike Terry, Deseret News
Statement from Rep. Kevin Garn, R-Layton, delivered from the floor of the Utah House on March 11, 2010.
"Twenty-five years ago, I made a mistake that has now come back to haunt me. I was 28 years old and I foolishly went hot-tubbing with a young woman nearly half my age. Although we did not have any sexual contact, it was still clearly inappropriate — and it was my fault.
"One of the consequences of that decision was the negative impact it had on this young person's life. Years later, when I was running for Congress, she decided to bring this incident to the attention of the media. Shortly thereafter, my wife and I met with her, and at her demand, I paid her $150,000. While this payment felt like extortion, I also felt like I should take her word that the money would help her heal. She agreed to keep this 25-year-old incident confidential. Now that this issue is coming up again, it is apparent to me that this payment was also a mistake.
"Today, she went to the press and reported all of these events. There will be a story. I expect to suffer public humiliation and embarrassment, but I also want you to know that I cannot allow one foolish mistake to continue to shadow my life. At this point, I would rather be open and honest about this than continue to live in fear. Some lessons are hard to learn. This is something I should have done back in 2002. But I was scared. I did not want to be publicly judged by one of my life's worst decisions.
"I told my wife about this incident years ago, as well as my children. I may not deserve their forgiveness, but they have given it. My primary concern at this point is that my wife and the rest of my family know how much I love them. I am sorry for this incident. And I am sorry I ever responded to the financial demands.
"I also wish to publicly apologize to this young lady for this incident. And I apologize to you, my colleagues, for any shame this brings to the Utah state Legislature. I have tried my best to serve my constituents in a way that brings honor to them and makes this great state better than the way I found it. I hope to continue to do that.
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