SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl because he received an "impression" to do so, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Friday.
Geody Harman, 38, pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual activity with a minor, a third-degree felony, as part of a plea bargain. He was originally charged with rape, a first-degree felony.
As part of the plea deal, he'll likely be sentenced to three years of probation and will be allowed to reside in the home he shares with his minor children. Sentencing is scheduled for June 8.
Prosecutor Alicia Cook noted that Harman was offered a deal because he cooperated in the case against Terrill Dalton, 45, who was convicted by a jury of two counts of rape, a first-degree felony, in connection with sexual activity involving the same girl — Dalton's daughter, Cynthia.
Both Dalton and Harman were leaders of a small religious group called the Church of the First Born and the General Assembly of Heaven. Dalton called himself the "Holy Ghost" while Harman was often referred to as "God in the flesh."
The group was based in Magna at the time of the alleged rape, but later moved to Idaho and Montana, where the men were arrested. Cynthia Dalton testified she was living in Magna with her father and stepmother when her father told her he had an impression that she needed to have sex with Harman and that she would receive "a great blessing" for doing so.
Harman said he initially told Dalton about the impression he had involving sex with Dalton's daughter, but it was Dalton who told the then-teenager. Harman was 17 years older than the girl at the time.
Cynthia Dalton — who has spoken publicly to the media about the rape — repeatedly said she felt "extreme pressure" from her father and others in the church to comply with his commands. She said she had been taught to do everything her father told her to do and was lectured, reprimanded and sometimes beaten if she didn't obey.
Dalton was found guilty of rape for both having sex with his daughter and for being a party to the sexual conduct involving Harman. Dalton will be sentenced May 11.
A pre-sentence report is being prepared in Harman's case and should address whether any sex offender treatment will be recommended as part of his sentence.