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Comments about ‘House Majority Leader Kevin Garn admits to incident with girl in past’

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Published: Friday, March 12 2010 12:28 a.m. MST

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Deadeye

I'm sorry, but I have a really hard time believing that "nothing happened". I was an adolescent in the LDS church during that time and know there was a lot of guilt from church leaders, but something more must have gone on to induce a "life ruining" guilt for her.

It definitely seems hypocritical for the Deseret News to squash this story, especially when Garn choose to get back into Utah Politics eight years later. There is no doubt in my mind that if a similar situation had arisen with a Democratic candidate who was not LDS, the same treatment would have been given.

Perhaps the editors felt it was more convenient to have some leverage against the House Majority leader? I did notice that Garn was unusually friendly to illegal aliens during his votes this year, something the Deseret News editors are constantly supporting. Maybe it's just a coincidence....

Bill

I personally forgive the man. He has obviously learned from his follies. If his family can forgive him, so can we. If the media ridicules every man who runs for office for his past sins, we won't have any politicians left. We've all made mistakes. Twenty years is long enough to change your life. It's also long enough to heal.

Irene

I was born and raised in Utah, lived there until I was almost 30. I am so glad I don't live there now! The animosity and hatred of non-members against members of the LDS church is unbelieveable. I have lived in the midwest and the west for 44 years, and wouldn't trade those years for 1 year in Utah. People I have encountered over the years are more tolerable than anyone in Utah. I have many friends across the country who don't hate Mormons. Live! and Let Live!

Anonymous

The extortion is wrong too. We need to make abuse laws NOT retroactive. At this rate, everyone will end up in jail.

Change the laws! I am a woman, and I say change the laws.

Anonymous

I'm a Mormon and sometimes a Republican. If Garn is not held accountable for this, it will be a huge mistake for Republicans and the Mormon community in Utah. What he did was wrong. Was he married at the time? Sorry, you don't get to avoid the consequences of your actions because you're a Mormon and a Republican. Don't be hypocrites. Maybe it's none of my business, but I don't see how he could fully repent of this thing without telling the whole truth and suffering the consequences.

Mary

This is very troubling. This man, sexually abused a 15 year old by exposing himself to her. This is illegal isn't it?

Emjay

The original offense is actually pretty mild. He definitely shouldn't have done it, but if sitting in a hot tub nude was all it was, it should be forgiven. It was definitely a boneheaded thing to do, but if nothing like that was repeated, it should be forgiven.

This victim is clearly a blackmailer. She should be prosecuted as such. I hope she's required to give back the money. I don't believe such an event is all that damaging. She's not going to be scarred for life over it.

However, this is a good example of how we all should be very careful of what we do. These things always come back to haunt you. Everyone learn a lesson from it.

Mistake Vs. Responsibility

I am shocked at the number of people who seem to be forgiving and forgetting what this man did. He was twice the age of a girl, who was a minor. How do you think they ended up in the hot tub together naked? You think he just happened to get this girl to do this? The girl worked for him! This is a HUGE mistake this man made. Should he remain in office? NO!!! He is a public servant, and we need to hold him to a higher standard. If he doesn't leave, vote him out!

Anonymous

$150,000??? $150,000 is more than just hush money over nudity. If you believe this I have a bridge to sell you.

So according to the legislature being nude with minors as long as you don;t touch them is ok, bribery is just fine and DUI driving is all forgivable. SWEEEEEET!

DEH

Reading most of these comments is an extraordinary commentary on rationalization and "protecting your own." Do you realize what would happen if any other nearly-30-year-old male was found to have gotten naked with a 15 year old in a hot tub? The man would be in prison and would thereafter be a registered sex offender for life. All the "blame the girl" commentary is equally incredible. It is pure hypocracy - in him, and in the conservative commenters that appear to be in the majority here.

Re: Walk in his shoes

Not just a hug but a standing ovation.

Oh Please...

... some of you repeatedly posting on the "sex offender" and "pedophilia" theme are REALLY getting ridiculous. If Garn's telling the whole truth, and there doesn't seem to be much reason to disbelieve that at this point, here are a few facts:

a) This "incident" occurred two decades ago, and was apparently isolated;
b) Garn was 28 at the time;
c) The girl was slightly MORE than half his age--probably 15-17;
and d) NO SEXUAL CONTACT OCCURRED.

Sex offenders and pedophiles MAKE SEXUAL CONTACT, pedophiles generally do so with much younger victims, and both make REPEATED ATTEMPTS. THAT is what puts them in jail. If Garn didn't do any of those things, prison isn't the place for him.

Don't get me wrong--I do agree that Garn shouldn't have done even what he DID do. But it seems he's paying the price for that now. So let's let the punishment fit the crime, shall we? Knock off the overreaction, people.

Spin Hater

It never fails to stun me when both the media and the people don't ask the questions to get to the bottom of a story like this.

Elected officials run for election by expressing their principles and making commitments to the public. I would suggest that when a 28 year old employer takes his 14-15 year old employee to a place (a home? business?) in SLC where they can be nude (alone?) in a hot tub, those probably aren't the principles expressed in his campaign. And I would argue that the actions taken are far more calculated than the word "foolish" implies.

When a news agency does not report on a story about a politician violating basic cultural principles in order to not have an impact on a political race (and since when has a news agency NOT reported a story out of respect for a non-disclosure agreement), it makes me question that agency's commitment to informing the public.

So many questions remain unanswered (and probably unasked). If news agencies can't be bothered to ask the difficult questions, who can we trust to do so?

Yes

The age to get married in Utah is 14 with the parents permission. I know because my daughter was married at 16 and had three children by the age of 19.

Just tired

That is why morality should be taught by parents, we make mistakes but why pay to hide them.

Caucus Approaching

As the caucuses near - Some advice for those who want to get involved with politics - If you have broken the law in the past (even if you have repented)- become a delegate, work on a campaign, make a donation, attend community meetings - but say "NO" to running for Congress, House, or Senate. It's bound to catch up with you and you're making our state look like ----

Forgive

Let's just forgive and move on. For example, let's just forgive the upstanding seminary principal who took one of his students out of school so they could have a relationship. She was 15 and knew what she was doing, right? I'm sure he has repented.

Let's just forgive Brian David Mitchell for taking Elizabeth Smart away from her family for a while. She was old enough to run away whenever she wanted, right? I'm sure he has repented.

For all of you claiming to be so sure that he has "repented" -- how do you know for sure? Isn't that his bishop's job as a judge in Israel? Please stop trying to assume you know whether he has repented.

From my perspective, waiting until you are confronted publicly to confess something is not an indication of true remorse...

mc

Its nice to see from many of these posts that all of you Democrats are so clean and pure.

Anon

It's a bad bad year for the Republican party in Utah.

COVER-UP!!

Perhaps the issue here is not the incident itself (disgusting), but the COVER-UP. It was a cover-up. No matter how it was presented by Mr. Garn, it was a cover-up. He covered-up an illegal act. Other politicians that have covered-up this type of indescretion were impeached or have resigned. Horrible judgement or not, what he did was against the law! No wonder the Utah legislative ethics folks are afraid to tackle tough issues. Get out of Office!!

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