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Man who pleaded guilty in sect sex case sentenced to probation

Published: Tuesday, July 10 2012 12:58 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who pleaded guilty to having sex with a 15-year-old girl because he said he received an "impression" to do so, has been placed on probation.

Geody Harman, 38, was sentenced to three years probation for unlawful sexual activity with a minor, a third-degree felony, by 3rd District Judge Judith Atherton. Harman was given a sentence of zero to five years in prison, but that sentence was suspended. He was ordered to serve a jail sentence of 240 days, but was given credit for the 240 days he had already served.

Harman was originally charged with first-degree felony rape, but pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony charge as part of a plea bargain. In exchange, he agreed to testify against Terrill Dalton, the victim's father, who was convicted of two counts of rape, a first-degree felony, in March.

Prosecutors say Dalton, 45, condoned an "impression" that Harman said he had received indicating that he needed to have sex with the then-15-year-old girl. Both Dalton and Harman were leaders of a small religious group called the Church of the First Born and the General Assembly of Heaven.

Dalton called himself the "Holy Ghost" while Harman was often referred to as "God in the flesh." In a prior hearing, Dalton's daughter testified that she was promised she would receive blessings if she had sex with the two men and felt extreme pressure from her father and those in his sect to comply.

Atherton sentenced Terrill Dalton to consecutive terms of five years to life in prison in May.

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