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Hush money may have violated election laws

Published: Saturday, March 13 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

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BYU alum

I also want to know what the Deseret News was covering up this story?

Would they have done the same service for a democrat?

dont' think so.

Lasergirl

She is the victim. And yes, sexual contact with an older employer while she was a minor is hurtful and immoral and illegal. And she did not extort money, he bribed her to shut up. In her efforts to recovder from sexual abuse, she is coming forward with the truth.

She is not ruining his life, he did that all by himself, well, with the help of his wife and his church that is.

Lasergirl

For those of you who love to blame the victim, GARN has admitted he gave her alcohol and went into a hot tub with a minor while both of them were naked. What the heck do some of you need to recognize immorality? He was in the wrong and He came up with the bribe. Not her. The Mormons condoning this behavior or blaming her are pathetic.

scott

lesson learned, wait til there 18, save 150 grand and your career !

amie

What Garn did is wrong no matter which way you look at it. Paying her off was even worse. He should have taken the fall when she first came to him for the $150,000. I'm sure this is devastating to his family, even more so now that he is such a public figure. I do believe in forgiveness, but years of secrecy has added more and more lies that will take many years to be forgiven of.

The fact the Maher blaming her broken life on Garn is irresponsible. Being a victim doesn't take away your agency. She made her own choices. If she really needed healing and wanted to do the right thing she should have refused the $150,000 and come forth then.

Sad, sad story.

Anonymous

I can't believe some of you are pointing out this woman's short comings....blame the victim. She was a young girl that was abused by her adult employer. Check out the facts, this abuse has profoundly impacted her life for the worse. Abuse victims usually have substance abuse problems, sexual problemsm, and relationship problems for their entire life. Whatever Garn has achieved during his life is erased by this abuse.

No Question...

what Garn did was wrong. Absolutely. I am not here to judge he or Ms. Maher on whether or not they've "repented" for their past mistakes. But I want to make it clear that the other legislators were not in any way applauding Garn for what he did or for his confession. They were applauding his years of solid service to the state which, regardless of his past doings, are still valid and appreciated. Most of his colleagues were probably aware this was the last time he would ever stand on the House floor in the role of legislator and were thus expressing their appreciation in that forum. Was the timing poor? A matter of opinion. But I don't think the true (not the perceived) sentiment was.

A Few Thoughts

1. It is absolutely normal and human nature to NOT want your sins and mistakes made public. It is not an indication of a lack of repentance or humility to want to make ammends privately. Often going public or even confessing to a Bishop leading to a court will only cause pain to other innocent people like your family members. I actually see the act of going public or even confessing to a Bishop as a very SELFISH act when it inevitably hurts others. Garn owed every responsibility to help this woman and his family heal. But going public did not have to be a part of that process and trying to avoid publicity is both natural and avoids further hurt to others.

2. HOWEVER, he certainly DID NOT have to run for office. That is where he was selfish. Making ammends privately is NOT selfish. It was likely the wisest thing for those innocently involved. Insisting on running for office after all of this however WAS selfish.

3. It truly shocks me how intelligent Americans can in good consciounce belong to ANY political party at this point. I am proud to be an INDEPENDENT who THINKS!!

truthteller

Justice is long, long overdue. The LDS church should finally excommunicate Garn for this and other possible acts of adultery. NO DOUBLE STANDARD. None of this "we take this very seriously" BS from Church authorities and then no action, even promotion to Bishop. Why is it that these priesthood holding men always get away with sexual dalliance and are forgiven, (or even applauded!) and the women are dissed and held to account.

Applause wasn't for service

Give me a break! The applause was for his service! He hadn't resigned! He gave a stirring speech! He starts like it's a confession and then totally makes it about himself, the victim of extortion and a invokes his years of public service! It was an act! Was everyone there so naive?

Diana

Sorry sweetheart...but you dont get any sympathy from me. THIS incidident is NOT what screwed up your life. YOU did. Get over it. Now, I am not excusing his behvior in any way--but he is not the root of your problems. You might want to look around and see what kind of real problems others have...such as no job, food, money, poor health etc, and then see what you can do to make a positive difference in their lives. You have screwed up yours going public with this information again. You already got $150,000. GET OVER IT!!! You look beyond pathetic.

Diane

Okay. I agree. The guy was 100% wrong. But I don't think Cheryl was tied down and forced. How about some personal accountability? Then she extorts money and STILL blabs to everyone? She and her family are "traumatized"? Give me a break! Here's your 15 minutes of fame. If anyone is doing any traumatizing it is Cheryl with her big mouth. And I agree . . . pay the taxes on the $150,000. What a grab for attention!

scott

a lot of 15 year old girls are mature and know what they want, thats a fact all 300 commenters need to know, and a lot of 29 year old boys know what they want! thats life !

Theresa

^hasn't subsided.

Mark Herriott

It seems a little odd that a grown man would get into a hot tub naked with a 15 year old girl and there was no physical contact. Then why even get into a hot tub? Why not just go to Golden Corral for a nice steak?

Hypocrisy

Garn:
1) exposed himself to a minor, who was also his employee
2) illegally paid $150,000 in extortion money and failed to inform FEC
3) Arranged for a cover-up by both Des News and SL Trib
4) Denounced gays at every opportunity.

Only #4 matters in Utah.

Bob

I wonder if you can sue over breach of contract? If he paid her to hush, and she talked, can't he sue?

crispin

This attitude of blame the victim is really sickening. Every time I read another one of the comments blaming the woman, a little of my love for life in Utah dies. This man took advantage of a 15 year old girl. He had been her Sunday School teacher. He was her boss. I am sick to my stomach reading these comments. How many of you who are so forgiving have been doing the same thing? Is that why you are so ready to forgive him? I am just angry about those things he admitted. The things he lied about and continues to lie about are a totally different thing. Any psychologist worth anything will tell you that what he did all those years ago helped to make her the woman she is today. And yet you blame the victim. You are one SICK society.

Clear...

The first contact was CHILD ABUSE!

All other events are extensions of his first acts toward this woman.

If she did not receive HELP in regard to the abuse, the path and mistakes of her life are on GARN's shoulders.

She may not be innocent of any transgressions, but GARN is guilty of the SINS. There is a difference.

Our son was molested by our scout leader (admittedly), and the CHURCH has ignored the damage and the pain to our son. Several of his actions AFTER the molestation are being weighed on our son's shoulders.

I can't wait for the JUSTICE of the Lord when he JUDGES our pain and losses. Mercy will be extended to the VICTIMS of abuse.

Judgement will come to the abusers.

Garn, his wife and son--if they covered up the issues, should all be ashamed...and they all chose CAREER, POSITION, MONEY and FAME over right.

Shame on your whole family! I Hope this woman gets help and can begin a good life. It is never too late for help.

Iggy

There is nothing better than this picture to illustrate the corruption and hubris in Utah politics and religion!

Garn was part of a trend. Since the mid-1980's, there have been over 20 criminal prosecutions of Mormon defendants for sex with children.

But that is nothing. Think of all the incidents, like Garns', that went unreported and were covered up by ecclesiastical leaders working together in closed-door Bishops' and Stake Presidents' offices in order to protect the reputations of leaders who were supposed to have been "called of God by prophecy and by the laying on of hands by those in authority!"

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