Timothy O'Shea McCleve

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.

McCleve's arrest is the latest in a series this month involving sex-related crimes.

• Hall is accused of abusing nine students in his first-grade classroom during this and last school year. He remained in the Salt Lake County Jail Tuesday on $500,000 bond.

• A 32-year-old employee of a Fazoli's restaurant in Provo was arrested for investigation of forcible sex abuse and sexual battery after police say he put his hands down the pants of a teenage female employee.

• Rodrigo Garza, 35, an assistant baseball coach at Copper Hills High School, was booked into jail for investigation of rape of a child, a first-degree felony, and two third-degree felony counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. Garza is accused of paying a 13-year-old to have sex with him.

• Kevin Pratt, 46, was arrested by Sandy police and charged with aggravated sex abuse of a child after investigators say he inappropriately touched his friend's 5-year-old daughter.

• A 38-year-old Taylorsville man was arrested, accused of preying on homeless girls and giving them a place to stay in exchange for taking nude photographs of them.

• Michael Patrick Lee, 52, was booked into the Davis County Jail for investigation of six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. North Salt Lake police said it was an internet porn investigation.

• Harold L. Hensley, 46, was charged with 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and four counts of dealing in harmful material to a minor. Court documents say Hensley took at least 10 pictures of two teens having sex. He then shared those pictures on his computer.

• A 44-year-old Herriman mother was charged with four counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor after encouraging her then-15-year-old daughter to have sex with an adult man she met on the Internet.


E-mail: [email protected]