A former LDS bishop police say frequently visited the home of three young girls while their parents were away was charged Monday with three first-degree felonies stemming from allegations he sexually abused them.
Harrisville resident Timothy O'Sean McCleve, who turned 52 the day he was charged in Ogden's 2nd District Court, was arrested over the weekend by police.
The forcible sexual abuse charges were filed after an investigation that began about 10 days ago. Police, along with investigators from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, are now looking into the possibility of other victims.
Police were first alerted after a girl heard the news about a Rosamond Elementary School first-grade teacher, Laine Hall, now charged with 14 counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child. The girl told her parents the same thing happened to her, said Harrisville Police Chief Max Jackson.
"The family separated all the girls ... to interview them individually. They all made disclosures of similar problems," he said.
Police were then contacted as well as Child Protective Services to help interview the girls.
"All of them made disclosures of inappropriate sexual contact multiple times, except one of them who said it happened just once," Jackson said.
The charges state the abuse occurred on or about March 12.
The charges are normally second-degree felonies but were elevated in this case because of McCleve's position of trust.
McCleve was the bishop of the girls' LDS Church ward until 2004. Jackson said the parents trusted McCleve, who would often stop by the girls' home while the parents were away. All of the alleged abuse, he said, happened in the girls' house.
While Harrisville police were screening charges with the Weber County Attorney, they learned that an Ogden police officer, who is also a member of the Attorney General's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, was also investigating McCleve over an inappropriate e-mail allegedly sent to a teenage girl now living in Ogden who attended his ward while he was bishop, Jackson said.
Harrisville police and the ICAC team jointly served a search warrant on McCleve's house and seized any computers inside, he said.
Child Protective Services has been referred to interview several other girls who could be victims, Jackson said.
Meanwhile, Jackson said the tight-knit community of Harrisville was stunned by the allegations.
"Everyone knew him and respected him," he said. "Everyone is just devastated."
His initial court appearance is scheduled for April 4 before 2nd District Judge Ernie W. Jones.
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