A Sandy man who worked as an actor in the Dickens Festival at the Utah Fair Park last Christmas has been charged in connection with the sexual abuse of a 10-year-old boy whom detectives say he met at the festival.
The boy told police that Robert Wayne Larsen, 32, committed a sex act in front of him and at least two other children invited to his home, 7875 S. Brady Circle (1905 East), Feb. 27, according to charges filed Wednesday in 3rd District Court.The boy also told police the man had touched his genitals on at least two different occasions before and after Christmas 1997, the charges state.
Larsen is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, and three counts of lewdness involving a child, class A misdemeanor. He is being held at the Salt Lake County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.
In 1994, Larsen pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of lewdness involving a child and completed 36 months of probation and a sex offender treatment program, according to court records.
Larsen, an actor, worked at the festival last Christmas and met the victim, who was also working as an actor, said Salt Lake County sheriff's detective Ron Rook.
"All of the kids involved in this were in the Dickens Festival," Rook said. "Robert (Larsen) appears to be a very competent actor. All the kids he's met and that are involved in this were through the festival."
Rook said Larsen currently has a role in the Hale Center Theater's production of "Arsenic and Old Lace," but his involvement there may end because Larsen is in jail.
Scouting officials have Larsen's name on a list of people banned from Scout activities because of his prior conviction, Rook said. Yet detectives learned that Larsen organized a group of young boys as Indian dancers and performed for at least one Boy Scout troop during an Arrow of Light ceremony.
Rook said the Scoutmaster who allowed the performance was probably not aware of the ban. The detective said he knows of only the one performance.
A search of Larsen's home "turned up enough stuff to outfit a whole Scout troop," Rook said. "We found all kinds of Scouting paraphernalia, pictures, videos, you name it."