House Majority Leader Kevin Garn admits to incident with girl in past

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  • Let it go
    March 18, 2010 6:10 p.m.

    It was a long time ago. The only people that care about this are people that want to make political gain for themselves and their group.

  • Anonymous
    March 16, 2010 6:40 p.m.

    This story is wrong on so many levels-not one person in this story behaved appropriately. Garn should not have been in that hot tub-he most certainly should not have paid her that "hush money"! Deseret News should have published the story when they had it-what happened to the newspaper reporting the news!? She should not have extorted money from Garn, that was wrong. Those "on the hill" should not be treating him like a hero-he did 2 very wrong things, one was 25 years ago and one was 8 years ago-now or 30 years ago, it still goes to his character. This is just awful.

  • And of course you must
    March 16, 2010 2:23 p.m.

    know it was not just a "hot tubbing" incident! It is ridiculous to just believe that. The woman claims they had a relationship...
    It is pretty naive if people just think that one act didn't lead to others...
    And it is true that no matter what transpired a juvenile is never held accountable and can't "consent" so people should not blame her. Of course, she could be dishonest now...we can't be sure of that. But if he admitted to "nude hot tubbing" it is very naive to think there wasn't more...

  • Anonymous
    March 15, 2010 4:35 p.m.

    Garn can spin this all he wants but he will have to answer to GOD for what he did. You can't omit and carefully select what information you want out there in the eyes of GOD Mr. Garn.

  • irony/shock
    March 15, 2010 12:41 p.m.

    Beware of those who scream "family values" the loudest. Garn fits into the axiom that the more a politician goes out of his way to find immorality in others (gays, etc), the more likely he is to be hiding something about himself. But I didn't know that newspapers actually help politicians be hypocrites.

  • Also agree with String of Crimes
    March 15, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    A fifteen year old is a minor = Child. Consent does not enter into the equation in this case.

    Garn had been downright lucky to get so far without exposure. He tempted fate and it has caught up with him. Well, he can relax now and pay the true price, and start living a life of peace out of the public eye.

    The DesNews probably made the right (tough) decision the first time. However, when he decided to run for office again, they should considered their obligation to the public. He had confessed to a legal offense for which he had never been made accountable. The self-serving Hush money (what he called "healing" money--oh my, how corrupt!) is evidence of a lack of true remorse.

    I have no sympathy for the timing of his announcement. Pure selfishness.

    Make no mistake, DesNews Readers, it's a big deal. And in these times, if we have something this serious to hide, best to lie low unless our motives are pure as new-fallen snow and we've nothing to gain. Garn's behavior does not pass that standard.

  • To String of Crimes @ 9:23
    March 14, 2010 4:20 p.m.

    Right on! Total agreement!

  • Steve
    March 14, 2010 3:37 p.m.

    Another victory for great journalism in Utah....not really surprising though

  • What, Stephanie ?
    March 14, 2010 3:26 p.m.

    Do you know the laws? I don't. His paying any money was most likely tampering with a witness. I don't think it is legallly possible to agree to silence in child abuse. He didn't own up, he threw a tantrum! Owning up would be going to a police station and confessing quietly. Then they could corraborate the story and charge him appropriately.

  • Stephanie
    March 14, 2010 2:37 p.m.

    Yes what he did was wrong but it also happened more than 20 years ago! And 25 years ago there weren't the kind of sex laws that there are today.

    This woman was a victim back when she was 15, that isn't the case when she willingly signed an agreement in exchange for cash. She basically settled the matter for $150,000. Looks like the money ran out and she was out for more. But this time he was stupid enough to pay her off. Best to just own up to it and move on.

  • Getrealpleeze
    March 14, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    I am so ashamed this is the standard of our "leaders". Ashamed, as a group they would get up and clap for this man who, even today, can't speak the truth and whitewashes what he did.

    The multitude of offenses he committed are a sad tale to many in our government. We need good, upstanding men as our leaders to set a high bar for integrity and ethics. Anyone getting into government needs to make sure their house is in order and without skeletons. And yes, I believe there are men out their who live lives without despicable histories.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 9:20 p.m.

    I cannot believe that our elected officials would stand up and clap after a so called "respected" official reveals his dirty dark secrets, which by the way is illegal. If Garn would not have resigned there would be many people appalled and I think this would stay in the lime light for a long time. Utah already has enough dirty dark secrets, remember the polygamists who married very young girls and now that I think of it they still do. Please remember those who represent us are not perfect but they definitely should not be criminals, and take advantage of young girls. It is too bad there is a statue of limitation otherwise Mr. Garn would find himself in a cell where he belongs. By the way where did he come up with $150,000.00 to pay her off? Remember the elected official from Idaho who resigned after sliding his foot in the restroom which is not criminal and he still resigned. It appears that almost every few days there is a story about a politician who cheat, lied, and stole, whatever. By the ways I see Ms Maher as a victim but also as an opportunist.

  • No Jered @ 8:17
    March 13, 2010 8:37 p.m.

    If it was only blackmail then yeah, let's be done with it. It isn't. He was an adult. He had a position of responsibility with her. He paid the hush money and then called the DNews every couple of years to see if more was going to be said. I don't think he has told the whole truth.
    Also, who cares about Clinton? What does that have to do with a Utah man committing sexual crimes and then covering it up with money and tears and help from the staff of the Deseret News? See related articles on how much the Deseret News knew.

  • Jered
    March 13, 2010 8:17 p.m.

    This is absolutely unbelievable. Here is a now grown up woman talking about something foolish that happened 25 years ago and she basically black-mailed this lawmaker. Sure what Garn did was probably a misdemeanor at best and pretty stupid but come on, it happened in his twenties. Most guys don't really grow up till there married and in there thirties anyway, ask any woman this. If Garn is faithful to his wife and doesn't mess around anymore I think this is best left in the past. Nobody is perfect and he did not sexually assault this girl. I think we are getting to a point where you have to be a saint to be a politician and we all know that most politicians are anything but saints. Remember Bill Clinton. And he didn't even resign. Lets grow up people and get real.

  • RE: Sue @ 6:26
    March 13, 2010 6:35 p.m.

    Yep, Sue. Sue Garn. I am a woman, too. I was once 15 and I think Garn hasn't paid enough. An adult who would take advantage of a minor and then turn it into a media circus has not paid the price! There is a civil case that could be pursued here, too. I hope the woman sues him and cleans him out entirely. What he did on Capitol Hill to try to gain pity and support was reprehensible. His public statement was pathetic and probably added much to the abuse he has already dealt her. SUE AND SUE AND SUE.

  • Sue
    March 13, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    Let it go and leave him alone. I say this and I am a woman.

  • C'mon now Utah
    March 13, 2010 2:12 p.m.

    Lets think reasonably, there must be more to the story if she's willing to come out and make this public AFTER they made an arrangement for her to keep quiet and risk him suing her for the money back right? I'm pretty sure something illegal happened in that hot tub or somewhere else. Also, IF something illegal happened, that hush money was actually be a bribe and how awesome would it be if he paid his lawyer to document his illegal bribe!

  • Janel
    March 13, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    Bravo to the Deseret News for having the integrity to not publish Garn's story in 2002 just to get an uprising in readership.

  • Shocking
    March 13, 2010 11:50 a.m.

    It is shocking to read all these comments supporting Garn -- along the lines of "he who has not sinned, cast the first stone." I have never and will never go hot tubbing or have any other types of encounters with underage girls or a woman who is not my wife.

    For those of you who know him, while he may be a good person, he obviously has some serious issues. So maybe you don't know him as well as you think.

  • Deflection
    March 13, 2010 10:01 a.m.

    "Twenty-five years ago, I made a mistake that has now come back to haunt me. I was 28 years old and I foolishly went hot-tubbing with a young woman nearly half my age..."

    This is a very carefully worded disingenuous confession. Using the words "mistake" and "incident" to make is sound like one encounter is incorrect. "Foolishly" equates to "foolish youth" when in reality a married 28 year old cannot dismiss his actions to foolish youth. And "a young woman nearly half my age" merely deflects naming the actual age (15) and the fact that this was a child/minor/teenager. "Young woman" implies that this GIRL was mature enough to be blamed.

    The "confession" is not genuine and those of you standing up for this man and blaming the victim are disgusting.

  • Michael
    March 13, 2010 9:56 a.m.

    I hate it when you pay hush money, and they don't stay hushed.

  • to Alan
    March 13, 2010 9:46 a.m.

    seriously what is wrong with you? do you not see anything wrong with what Garn did? you are the one who needs to grow up... most 5 year olds begin to know the difference between right and wrong, but apparently you haven't reached that yet.

  • String of crimes
    March 13, 2010 9:23 a.m.

    The cries that we not judge because all of us are imperfect ring hollow. Our world is based on laws that have nothing to do with how "pure" the jury is. In a criminal proceeding, the judge does not instruct the jury that they can only find the defendant guilty if they, themselves, have never done anything wrong. And as a public, we ought to demand more of our elected officials, REGARDLESS of our own personal shortcomings.

    There is a string of problems here: at 28 he preyed upon a little girl, in 2002 he did his best to hide his crime, and he ran for public office several times without disclosing a SERIOUS criminal offense. Now he wants to come clean, not because his own conscience is bothering him, but because it has become public.

    I don't care about Ms. Maher's shortcomings or involvement - she isn't an elected official. Mr. Garn ought to be investigated and prosecuted if applicable. Let God judge his soul; we have a responsibility to hold him to the standards of our own laws and standards. A man who hides these kinds of sick acts should not hold elected office.

  • @John Pack Lambert
    March 13, 2010 8:16 a.m.

    Let us not be naive, a 30 year old married man with children entices a 15 year old child who was under his religious and employment authority to a secret naked encounter in a hot tub; and that is all there is to the story. Get real, this is as bad as the Catholic church scandal of child molestations. This needs to go to a legal court.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 6:12 a.m.

    Wow. The reaction here is quite telling. Utah is huge on supposed morals and values, and yet a newspaper chose to omit the little detail of hot-tubbing with a 15 year old because it was too close to the election? I wonder if the same consideration would have been given to one of those liberal candidates?

  • Alan
    March 13, 2010 5:27 a.m.

    The little extortionist girl will not be "healed" at all by manipulating someone and by her publicity-seeking. Ms.Maher, a curse upon you for attempting to destroy someone, for your own gain. You will never, ever feel good about what you have done. Rather than allowing you to "move on with your life and heal" as you said, destroying someone will fester & infect your personality. Forgiving and forgetting is the only thing that would have healed you. This will destroy what little is apparently left of you, and your problems in your current life are NOT someone else's responsibility. Grow up.

  • dc
    March 13, 2010 4:37 a.m.

    Was the Deseret News paid to NOT run the story disclosed in 2002?

    Why would the Deseret News assist in a cover-up of sexual abuse and political hush-money?

    Consider all of the other people and source that knew about this: Why did all hide the truth?

  • John Pack Lambert
    March 12, 2010 10:56 p.m.

    To the 9:08 commentator,
    While the fact that Garn was married may effect any past or present action by the LDS church, I do not believe it has any relevance on the criminality of his action.
    From a legal standpoint, which is the one we need to use to consider his fitness to fill out the rest of his term (the rules for possible re-election are different) the quesion is this, is a 28 year old man being naked in a hot tub with a 15 year old girl a crime?
    The answer to that question is not effected by his marital status. If he was a single 28-year-old man it would have been equally as criminal.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 10:56 p.m.

    I hear you JOHN PACK LAMBERT 4:37. No need to hide the sinnerS sin just because he is LDS. It really amazes me when this man "Garn" had no morals to even be honest enough to tell his wife the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The main person to tell the truth to would be your spouse.

  • Unbelieveable
    March 12, 2010 10:25 p.m.

    He was an adult and she was a child (yes 14/15 is a child). Who cares if it was 5 years ago 25 years ago or 100 years ago it was still wrong. He needs to resign and go away and not be around little girls again!

  • Pegasus Records Reminder
    March 12, 2010 9:08 p.m.

    Pretty disgusting to me that posters are saying "it was a long time ago" or "who didn't make mistakes". Some of the posters are worse and blaming her or thinking she was at fault as well.
    Get real. She was a teenager younger than 18 years old. That's not a lapse of judgement in a weak moment, that's a crime. You can't prey on young teens when your a married man of almost 30 - twice her age. We'd call that a Predator today-which might land you on the Sex Offender Registry today. This is hitting the national press.
    I'd forgotten about the Pegasus record store-didn't know Garn was the one who owned it. I spent a fortune on records at that place.

  • Garn
    March 12, 2010 7:33 p.m.

    Garn says he made a mistake; he didn't make a mistake, he commited a crime. There needs to be a full lawful investigation.

  • If a public servant
    March 12, 2010 6:43 p.m.

    can get away with it, why not a sports figure? Garn had to have the whistle blown on him, Tiger Woods openly admitted his wrong-doing and he doesn't represent anyone other than himself. Yet, his endorsements are gone. His reputation is shot. I say we boot Garn out of office. He is a bad example and we should be ashamed of him.

  • I can't believe it
    March 12, 2010 6:25 p.m.

    How is it that we are still blaming the victim? She was a child, he was an adult. Garn was never charged, never put on trial, never had to pay and if we look at this 'friends' on the hill he never will. Of course she's haunted and she always will be until he is arrested, charged, and put on trial just like any other pervert in our pretty great state. Justice has a way of putting personal demons to rest. Garn do Utah a favor, resign, plead guilty, and do your time.

  • Feed Up
    March 12, 2010 6:13 p.m.

    Garn said this mistake was coming back to bite him, and now that the 15yr old (then) is talking it was a bad idea to pay her the money. It sounds like Garn is sorry that this has become public, not for getting naked with a 15yr old girl!!! The deseret news did not publish the story because he was retiring anyway. THEN WHY DID THEY NOT PUBLISH AFTER HE RAN FOR THE SENATE 2 YRS LATER. Garn should resign at once, if not for 15yr old then for paying the hush money.

  • Ana
    March 12, 2010 6:00 p.m.

    How odd that so many people want to justify his bad behavior by saying that "everyone makes mistakes". That he regrets his actions does not change them. The age of consent is not 15 so even if she "knew" what she was doing, what HE did was illegal. Do not get lost in bad logic. This guy has some serious impulse control problems.

  • Sick Now
    March 12, 2010 5:56 p.m.

    I honestly think that I'm sick after reading the many comments of defense of this man and his actions and the attacks made to this woman. He was a married adult and he did these things with a young girl... How can you people just shrug off the things that he did and then blame and attack her? I am sick.

  • re:Steve
    March 12, 2010 5:27 p.m.

    Sure, let the polls judge this man.

    But, if this is a felony, should Garn be allowed to vote for himself at the polls?

  • John Pack Lambert
    March 12, 2010 4:37 p.m.

    To Lew,
    The Deseret News is not a particularly Republican press. They are one of the most ardent supporters of immigration reform there is.
    It is just that you are such a die hard democrat that their refusal to push a die hard Democrat agenda makes you mad.

  • Steve
    March 12, 2010 4:31 p.m.

    1) To the idiot who invoked Polanksi — Misdirection is a cheap tactic. And maybe quit with the labeling of 15 year old girls as hookers.

    2) I don’t care what this guy did 25 fricken years ago. And I don't care that he paid off the girl. Let the polls be the only judge of this man.

    3) The newspaper that didn't report on this information is the villain here. It did a great disservice to its community and only further damaged the already soiled name of journalism in this country.

  • fink
    March 12, 2010 4:14 p.m.

    no substitute for the truth..........a lie is a lie, and either way you deal with it , it is still an untrue story.........

  • RE: Rich
    March 12, 2010 4:02 p.m.

    If the "dumb things" in your past involved illegal activities then I applaud you for not running for office. I wish more people would follow your example. No one is perfect but most of want legislators who have not been involved with illegal acts at any time in their lives. Believe it or not, most of our current legislators could pass such a criminal background check just fine.

  • John Pack Lambert
    March 12, 2010 3:58 p.m.

    In many ways I feel the Deseret News should have gone public with this story.
    Still, when they have gone public with other accusations they have been accused of druming up hate against specific individuals. It is a fine balance, and although I think they should have erred more on the side of public knowledge, I will with hold the unmoderate attacks that assume that newspapers have a duty to bring up questionable actions done by an indivudual 17 or more years ago.
    On the other hand, I think at least by modern laws this would count as criminal sexual conduct, so calling it a "mistake" is too weak. It was a crime, if I properly understand the laws, even if Garn and Maher had no phisical contact, which is a big IF.

  • Craig
    March 12, 2010 3:58 p.m.

    Everyone who is praising Garn, imagine if the 15 year old was your daughter or someone from your young women class?

    This man deserve to be locked up and added to the sex predator list. I really hope he is not a Mormon. Last thing we need is another one of this type of people.

  • Polanski
    March 12, 2010 3:24 p.m.

    Roman Polanski is considered a hero among his fellow Hollywood Liberals......for doing the EXACT same thing that GARN did.......I am more out-raged that this woman BLACKMAILED this guy then I am about Garns 25 year old Polanskylike indiscretion!

    If you take money for sex.....are you not essentailly labeling yourself a HOOKER?

  • Mike
    March 12, 2010 3:23 p.m.

    Shame on the D. News. I know Kevin Personally but they refuse to post my comments. if you want to hear the truth about kevins past.

  • Rich
    March 12, 2010 3:08 p.m.

    If Garn, like Clinton, had lied under oath about this incident, I would say he should be thrown out. But an indiscretion 25 years ago should be forgiven if Garn has lived clean since then. I myself refuse to run for public office because of some dumb things I did 40 to 45 years ago, and it wouldn't be hard for an investigator to find out all about these discretions when I was 14 to 16 years old.

  • Argh
    March 12, 2010 2:50 p.m.

    I'm angered that Deseret News wouldn't report on something like this when it comes to our elected officials. This isn't a private citizen, this is someone who represents us. They put themselves in the public eye. I don't really care to get in people's bedrooms (or hot tubs), and I don't care about individual's sexual escapades, AS LONG AS THEY ARE LEGAL. But this behavior clearly skirts legal lines, which is very relevant to voters trying to determine who will make their laws. Who are you a paper for? What sort-of puppet strings were pulled as you talked to him? Did Garn offer you hush incentives, too? I have a brain, give me the information and allow me to make up my own mind.

  • Not Ok
    March 12, 2010 2:44 p.m.

    I'm republican 23 and male and what this man did is not ok. I mean 28 years old when he did this? Wow.

    Hard to say whether it was extortion or whether he went out of his way to keep her quiet but it doesn't look to good from either side. Sad story.

    A 15 year old should be smarter but a 28 year old should be a LOT smarter!

  • It's Not Fair!
    March 12, 2010 2:30 p.m.

    I propose that the national laws be changed so that Utah males are exempted from being considered legal adults at age 18. It's clear from so many comments that the populace doesn't believe that this poor fellow was equipped to make any kind of legal or ethical decisions at age 28. It sounds like most males in Utah must not get away from Mama until closer to thirty, and then they need some clarification on what the law means. This is the evil 15 year old vixen's fault!

  • Question?
    March 12, 2010 2:28 p.m.

    Background checks are required for public employees such as teachers and police officers. Now even classroom volunteers are being asked to obtain background checks. I understand this as these people as in a position of trust. Question? Are background checks required amongst the Utah legislature? I would be curious to find out.

  • Jake
    March 12, 2010 2:05 p.m.

    Interesting to see the positive tone on this forum.
    I recall much harsher response to the Clinton sex scandals.
    Double Standard?

  • Continuum
    March 12, 2010 1:59 p.m.

    BTW - I notice that the D-news caption terms Garn's incident a discretion. Others might say sexual assault. While a district attorney might say statutory rape.

  • Mitchell
    March 12, 2010 1:58 p.m.

    To all the people that are praising Garn!!!!! Do you have daughters? Would it be okay for me to come over and get in the hot tub with them??

  • Continuum
    March 12, 2010 1:57 p.m.

    You just gotta love the comments that are willing to forgive Garn. Will those same people now forgive Polanski? Hypocrites who hide behind their faith while committing sin. Secondly, does anyone really believe that this was an isoloated incident with only one girl. Where there's smoke there's fire.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 1:45 p.m.

    If someone working with Obama made a dumb political remark when he was 20 conservative use his words to condemn him. When it's a local conservative, they want to forgive him and move on. This is moral relativism.

  • DK
    March 12, 2010 1:40 p.m.

    If this incident had happened last week, Garn would have been prosecuted. She was a minor. That it happened 25 years ago shouldn't change that.

  • Hear, hear!
    March 12, 2010 1:32 p.m.

    Excellent comment, Jud. That is just about as slimy a display as I've ever seen in American politics, and we know how slimy that is. One guy was apparently weeping for his poor comrade, who had to admit to convincing a 15 yr. old employee to take off her clothes for him after years of hiding it. Waaaaah.

    Just look again at that photo. Disturbing. They believe they can do anything to anyone and that god supports them. They continue to take America into a cesspool.

  • Dee
    March 12, 2010 1:10 p.m.

    It's amazing the folks wanting to put this in the past. Garn should have been on the sex offender registry. That's the way to look at it. And his fellow colleagues gave him a standing ovation. Despicable.

  • John
    March 12, 2010 1:08 p.m.

    Optional | 12:49 p.m. wrote:

    "I'm surprised nobody has brought this up yet. Kevin is a former bishop and stake president. Was this ever disclosed to the Church authorities by Kevin? How many disciplinary councils did Kevin prside in where the conduct was similar to Kevins? This brings up a LOT of unanswered questions."

    It sure does!

  • Jud
    March 12, 2010 1:05 p.m.

    I'm a Democrat and absolutely do not condone this kind of behavior from any Democrat, e.g. Rep. Massa. But the sight of a bunch of self-righteous Republicans giving a standing ovation to a pedophile who pays big hush money to keep his peccadillos private is enough to make me gag. They should all be ashamed of themselves.

  • So close...
    March 12, 2010 12:56 p.m.

    If I understand the Des News's rationale, they didn't report the story because it was too close to a primary election, so they sat on it, then Garn lost so there was no story.

    Does that mean that if Garn had beat Bishop and went on to face the Democratic contender, they would have then reported the story?

    I think I've gotten it - the Des News wanted a Democrat elected from the 1st district and knew this was their only chance - 1st, hope that Garn gets the Republican nomination and then in the general election report the story and destroy his campaign.

    They came so close!

  • Ron Gibson
    March 12, 2010 12:55 p.m.

    Forgive him He's paid enough. Although he should probably leave office, she should be looked into on tax or blackmail charges.

  • It is a big deal.
    March 12, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    First to Cowboy and Utah Dad. Nice and thoughtful. To Not a Big Deal, Move Along, I don't care if Garn is a Republican or Democrat. He was 28 at the time of this Encounter. 28 is not a young age and for those of you using that as an excuse, you should be ashamed. If I made that mistake at that age or even at 20, I should have been arrested. I know better and he knew better. The "extortion" request is certainly not a right move by this woman (separately, she should answer to this as well) but that doesn't exonerate Garn. In fact, by paying her to "heal" and not disclosing it makes it worse. Moreover, he was no longer "youthful" when he paid this money. Bottom line, I'm an independent. When it comes to the voting booth, this incident will influence my vote.

  • re: Prunoid
    March 12, 2010 12:51 p.m.

    certainly at a minimum the judgement by the Des News Editor was rally bad. What about the Trib? If the News knew, its pretty sure the Trib did too. Incredibly poor judgement by both. I doubt there was a crime by either of them though.

  • Optional
    March 12, 2010 12:49 p.m.

    I'm surprised nobody has brought this up yet. Kevin is a former bishop and stake president. Was this ever disclosed to the Church authorities by Kevin? How many disciplinary councils did Kevin prside in where the conduct was similar to Kevins? This brings up a LOT of unanswered questions.

  • Scott
    March 12, 2010 12:43 p.m.

    Why is so much of this article a feeble attempt to exculpate the D-News? I think waiting for this to happen to publish anything about it is journalistically irresponsible.

  • seminary man
    March 12, 2010 12:40 p.m.

    whats the difference they're both in position of trust...geez thats why is so accepted here and the outside world views Utah as hicks!

  • To Utah Dad
    March 12, 2010 12:38 p.m.

    Thanks for your comments Utah Dad! The most reasoned (and probably realistic) interpretation of the events so far.

  • Aaron
    March 12, 2010 12:37 p.m.

    Sounds like someones political alignment got in the way of their reporter sense. The only reason this story wouldn't run is for political reasons. Even if you argue that this was nothing more then bad judgment the people should have been told about this because if Garn has bad judgment in his personal life, how can he have good judgment in his political dealings.

  • prunoid
    March 12, 2010 12:31 p.m.

    Are the Church and Deseret News culprits?

    "Deseret News editors decided not to run a story about the indiscretion at that time, since the GOP primary was only weeks away and the incident had occurred years before."

  • Not a big deal, move along
    March 12, 2010 12:30 p.m.

    Come on, people, let it go. It was 25 years ago. He made a youthful mistake, like we all have. Nothing happened between the two of them, and he's tried to make it up to her since. If he wasn't a Republican then this wouldn't be news. The Dems do lot's of things worse than this.

  • Witness tampering
    March 12, 2010 12:29 p.m.

    Exposing yourself to a minor is a crime that ends political careers.
    Tampering with a witness (by paying her off) is also a crime.
    Garn knew better both times.

  • He's got to go
    March 12, 2010 12:29 p.m.

    It was a crime. He paid her hush money. It was not about helping her, if that were the case, then why so much later was the money paid? Further, and this is very important, Garn ran for public office, took money to fund campaigns and never disclosed this. Voters were defrauded because many if not most would not have voted from him (or gave him contributions) if this was known. He's got to go. Not acceptable at all.

  • Brian
    March 12, 2010 12:28 p.m.

    This woman is a gold-digger and an extortionist. That is a fact.

    He never should have paid her for a foolish mistake when he was young.

  • prunoid
    March 12, 2010 12:27 p.m.

    Getting caught is not repentance. Jail for men that abuse minors!

    March 12, 2010 12:27 p.m.

    28 years old is a grown man. 14 years old is not a "young woman", but a "girl"! Forgive? Sure. Downplay what happened? No way!

  • amazing
    March 12, 2010 12:27 p.m.

    I'm amazed at the rationalizations that you folks come up with, to defend both Garn and the DesNews.

    That he was naked in a hot tub with someone 25 years ago is not very interesting. That his naked companion was 15 at the time, while he was 28, should be of great interest both to the news media and to the criminal justice system.

    The hush money deal was potentially criminal on the part of both parties, and is again highly newsworthy.

    And according to this article, none of this was merely a matter of rumor, even eight years ago. Mr. Garn admitted all of it to the Deseret News, but they didn't print anything.

    Perhaps it was reasonable to delay publication until after the election, since you wouldn't want voters to know part of the story but not all. But there was no excuse for the DesNews keeping this secret for 8 years, while Mr. Garn continued to serve in the Legislature.

    No excuse. The DesNews participated in a cover-up.

  • wrz
    March 12, 2010 12:20 p.m.


    ["Since the girl broke the terms of the agreement, does she have to return the money?"]

    She should. And if she doesn't someone should look into if she paid taxes on it.

  • To Utah Dad
    March 12, 2010 12:20 p.m.

    Very interesting and insightful perspective to this story. Thank you!!

  • Cowboy
    March 12, 2010 12:12 p.m.

    My compassionate side tells me that this was a regrettable incident long ago, and by gones should be by gones.

    My rational side tells me, this man committed a sexual offense against a 15 year old girl while he was in his late twenties. Without the details I have a hard time accepting his story at face value, ie, there was no sexual conduct. He also kept this secret from the public for twenty plus years. His public service and "good" life was largely directed by the misfortune that he wasn't arrested at age 28 for his clear crime. I am 28 years old now, and just don't believe I could write this "indiscretion" off as a youthful mistake.

    Lastly, his willingness to submit to obvious extortion, bespeaks questionable integrity. How can we justify a public servant who is willing to continue breaking the law by participating in extortion. At the very least this ENTIRE incident deserves a thorough independent investigation, up to and including criminal prosecution of the woman in question for blackmail.

    It should be obvious, but I ultimately have to forsake my compassion and side with rationalism here.

  • Utah Dad
    March 12, 2010 12:00 p.m.

    As a dad with adult daughters and a fifteen year old daughter, let me tell you how I see this story.

    There's a fifteen year old mormon girl, a ninth grader, a MIA maid, who works for this nice guy. He takes her out of town, to some kind of secluded hot tub where they bathe together in the nude. He tells her to keep their shame a secret and she does, for many years. She lives with her unresolved guilt.

    Victims of this kind of abuse suffer. The event does spiritual and emotional damage. It wounds the spirit.

    Then, she's a young women's leader and she sees that the same man might get elected to high office. She talks to a reporter.

    The next thing she knows the man is working through her bishop to get her to kill the story. Her husband tells her that her silence is worth $150,000. She complies. The wound doesn't heal.

    Finally she decides that unrighteous men must not be allowed to force her into bad decisions. She goes public and gets attacked by a bunch of self righteous party line ideologues.

    I hope she heals.

  • Huh?
    March 12, 2010 11:57 a.m.

    Teacher gets accused of inappropriate relationship with student--- Career ruined, name smeared all over the D News and legislature calls for more background checks

    Legislator admits to exposing himself (at the least) to a child--- Standing ovation and hugs from fellow legislators, D News buries the story, and apologists aplenty defending him because of political affiliation.


  • Liberty
    March 12, 2010 11:54 a.m.

    If it was your daughter in the hot tub would you still forgive and vote for him?

  • Political Parties Stink
    March 12, 2010 11:54 a.m.

    I am so sick of the polarization and hypocrisy driven by political ideology.

    Issues should be decided soley on reason, logic and common sense and involve honest collaboration by our leaders for the good of the citizens they represent. There are so few politicians who have that mindset today at both local and national levels.

    The responses to this story are driven largely by ideology and political party as well. I find nothing more pathetic and weak than to make decisions based on what a particular ideology encompasses - whether it be a religious or political ideology - rather than using your own reason and common sense and having the courage to make decisions that do not fit into a particular box.

    Independent thinkers who weigh ALL the evidence, facts and circumstances of something issue by issue seem to be so far and few between into today's extreme polarizing landscape where the only voices seem to be the extremes of the left or the right. Moderation, common sense, reason, and collaboration are almost viewed as weaknesses in today's toxic political environment. To me those should be the MOST important virtues of our politicians.

  • HA HA
    March 12, 2010 11:52 a.m.

    Reading the comments has been the most humorous part of my day. The thought processes of my fellow men and ladies are enlightening and amusing.

  • Buzzy
    March 12, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    Typical, and telling how the most publicly pious are the most privately perverted. Garn deserves all the scorn he has heaped on others far better than himself.

  • CTW
    March 12, 2010 11:35 a.m.

    Please MR. Garn, take the high road for once on this issue and resign. "It was a long time ago" might beat the justice system but if we are to trust your words of wisdom from your calling, you need to come completely hot tub clean, she will.

  • Double Standard
    March 12, 2010 11:33 a.m.

    There does seem to be a bit of a double standard. A member of the Religious Right who has a sexual transgression is a repentant sinner. a member of the Religious Left how does the same thing is an immoral reprobate. An undocumented immigrant who comes to America because he loves his family and want t care for them is a criminal. A 28 year old who get naked in a hot tub with a 15 year old has made a stupid mistake.

  • VN
    March 12, 2010 11:32 a.m.

    Would you still feel the same forgiveness to Garn if this 15 year old girl was your daughter?

  • mymy
    March 12, 2010 11:30 a.m.

    yeah i believe him, not. gotta love fools.

  • MormonDem
    March 12, 2010 11:27 a.m.

    "mc | 10:33 a.m. March 12, 2010
    Its nice to see from many of these posts that all of you Democrats are so clean and pure."

    Well, I haven't ever gotten in a hot tub nude with a 15-year old girl, if that's what you're asking.

    Amazing how quickly the GOP preaches moral relativism when it's one of their own.

  • heck
    March 12, 2010 11:26 a.m.

    i didn't even come close to this and no one forgives me...just labels me...label me the unforgiven but i'm liven!

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 11:25 a.m.

    I forgive Ted Bundy for what he did, but that doesn't mean I'd let my daughter go for a ride with him. I forgive Mr. Garn, but I'm not sure that means he should be running the legislature. Forgiveness is one thing, but the public has a right to know who they are voting for. Maybe everyone went hot tubbing (and whatever else happened) with a 15 year old when they were 28, and then paid her 150K to keep her mouth shut, but I never did. Guess it's not a big deal, judging by 90 percent of the comments here. In my opinion someone else should run the state and Mr. Garn should get a nice job in the public sector.

  • marv albert
    March 12, 2010 11:22 a.m.

    dont worry , u letterman , tiger will get by with a little help from your friends as you made a carreer of it ...pushing the button.

  • He was wrong
    March 12, 2010 11:21 a.m.

    What he did was wrong - a crime - and he knows it. That is why he paid hush money. It is inappropriate for a 28-year-old man to be naked in a hot tub with a 15-year-old girl. The law protects minors. Don't make her the culprit.

    Interesting that he says "almost half my age" instead of "15" -- like hoping people won't do the math?

    For all those jumping on the Pres. Clinton bandwagon - the woman he was involved with was of age. I'm just sayin' ...

  • Idaho Doc
    March 12, 2010 11:18 a.m.

    When I was 28, I would not have done naked hot tubbing with a 14 year old girl. Does it bother anybody else that the only people who would have are currently running our country. How do people like Grover Cleveland, Kennedy (pick one) and John Edwards get elected? We need a system of government where men with good judgement like George Washington are put in charge, even though they are not eager to do it. Throw the bums out next election!

  • Concerned Citizen
    March 12, 2010 11:15 a.m.

    She was a minor for goodness sake. He a 30-year-old man!!!! There is no statute of limitations on crimes against children for a reason. Treat this like any other indecent exposure. People who are convicted of lewd acts against children get put on the sex offenders' list for life, whether the act occurred 1, 10, or 60 years ago. The fact that he publicly apologized (after paying hush money and because he had no other alternative) doesn't make it right! And it's pricelessly because he is a lawmaker that he should be held to a higher standard. Throw the bum in jail. And throw her too for extortion!!!

  • Some Thoughts
    March 12, 2010 11:13 a.m.

    1. From a strictly legal perspective, had he been arrested the next day he likely would have been charged with a misdemeanor but not any kind of felony. The statute of limitations has now long since lapsed.

    2. From a moral perspective, he made a serious mistake and one that his wife and children have known about for a long time.

    3. From a practical perspective, it is HIGHLY unlikely that, assuming no sexual contact occurred, this event has played a role in the woman's mental and substance abuse struggles that she has admitted to.

    4. I am sorry for anyone who struggles with pills and alcohol as this woman has admitted. A close family member of mine has struggled with pills for years. The unfortunate reality is that it causes people to act very unreasonable - in ways that they later greatly regret. My experience tells me that if this woman is currently struggling with pills, she is likely doing and saying things regarding this story that she will later regret once she is clean.

    5. Political parties are a curse to our society. I long for politicians who legislate according to common sense and reason - not ideology.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 11:05 a.m.

    Garn wasn't 28 years old as the article (and his statement) says.

    He was 30 years old, and married, with kids.

  • Jake
    March 12, 2010 10:59 a.m.

    You people make me sick. As a 28 year old he got naked WITH A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT. I don't care how well he was able to hide it for 25 years with his money, but that's sick WITHOUT sex involved.

    And just because he said there wasn't any, doesn't mean there wasn't any. You think he's going to admit to anything when he could be charged with STATUTORY RAPE?

    If it had been another adult, then yes, 25 years is too long to hold this against him. SHE WAS A CHILD.

  • get over it
    March 12, 2010 10:56 a.m.

    it was 1985 man!!! bush snorted coke about that same amount of time before taking office. it was skinny dipping for crying out loud. bad thing to do, but get real. she comes around when she knows she can make money off the guy... doesn't make me feel sorry for her too much. she was like 32 yrs old when she extorted him, that's a bigger deal in my book.

  • Defenders of Garn...Really
    March 12, 2010 10:50 a.m.

    What is it about Utah and the people's willingness to defend this kind of twisted behavior? In any other state you'd be hard pressed to find any defenders for this kind of person. He would have either been put in jail or run out of town. Instead, I'm finding that the majority of people here are quick to blame the girl and while praising the virtues of the ADULT, who knew better, and did this to a teenager.

  • Confused Repub
    March 12, 2010 10:47 a.m.

    Wouldn't this be an example of the moral equivalency that we always lecture everyone else about? That means that right and wrong changes as convenient for us? It almost sounds like we're a bunch of religious hypocrites, but that can't be the case, can it? I better talk to my minister and have him explain this away for me.

  • Bad decision by paper
    March 12, 2010 10:44 a.m.

    Not only is Garn's past coming back to haunt him, but the D News' decision not to run the story in 2002 is coming back to haunt them. I'm sure the editorial board agonized over what to do, but I believe it was the wrong decision — terribly wrong! It was clearly an important news story involving a public figure. This will significantly damage the paper’s credibility. How many other important stories is the paper sitting on? Did the paper protect Garn because it has a Republican bias? It takes guts to run a good paper, and unfortunately, the D. News blinked! Both the D News and Garn would have been far better off to come clean from the start!

  • Amazing
    March 12, 2010 10:43 a.m.

    It's amazing to me how quickly "rule of law" conservatives in this state are so quick to set that aside for one of their own. Garn should resign and have charges filed against him. She was FIFTEEN. Forgive him if you like, but don't set aside the rule of law. Wake up people.

  • Not From These Parts
    March 12, 2010 10:42 a.m.

    I have my fingers crossed that this fine publication, which obviously adheres to the highest standards of Fox journalism, will allow my comment.

    I have a question after reading the comments. Is a 15 year old girl considered "fair game" for an adult male in Utah? Is it still OK if the adult male is an african american or mexican and the 15 year old is a cute little white sophomore? Or would that get the interest of law enforcement?

    Be honest.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 10:40 a.m.

    Did he use his campaign funds to pay the $150,000? If so, he should be investigated for ethic's violations.

  • Rene
    March 12, 2010 10:40 a.m.

    Are you people listening to yourself! He was a kid! She is coming forward now to ruin his life! How could hot tubbing haunt her all these years! She is money grubber!!!!

  • Oh boy!
    March 12, 2010 10:39 a.m.

    A standing ovation? The legislature's reaction to this incident is as much a story as the story itself.

    I hope that all involved can heal and move on. At the same time, it's time for Garn to step down.

  • Understanding
    March 12, 2010 10:39 a.m.

    For those who keep saying it was a mistake, you really should look up the meaning of the word. This was a deliberate action by Garn's own admission. He didn't mistakenly converge with the child in the hot tub, he did it on purpose and for a reason.

  • Lew Jeppson
    March 12, 2010 10:38 a.m.

    "The editors decided to wait to see if Garn advanced in the primary before deciding to publish a story or not." Given the degree to which Deseret Media support the Republican party, I doubt you would have anytime.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 10:36 a.m.

    Is it just me or is there an undercurrent of deviancy with minors accepted in this state?

  • COVER-UP!!
    March 12, 2010 10:35 a.m.

    Perhaps the issue here is not the incident itself (disgusting), but the COVER-UP. It was a cover-up. No matter how it was presented by Mr. Garn, it was a cover-up. He covered-up an illegal act. Other politicians that have covered-up this type of indescretion were impeached or have resigned. Horrible judgement or not, what he did was against the law! No wonder the Utah legislative ethics folks are afraid to tackle tough issues. Get out of Office!!

  • Anon
    March 12, 2010 10:35 a.m.

    It's a bad bad year for the Republican party in Utah.

  • mc
    March 12, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    Its nice to see from many of these posts that all of you Democrats are so clean and pure.

  • Forgive
    March 12, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    Let's just forgive and move on. For example, let's just forgive the upstanding seminary principal who took one of his students out of school so they could have a relationship. She was 15 and knew what she was doing, right? I'm sure he has repented.

    Let's just forgive Brian David Mitchell for taking Elizabeth Smart away from her family for a while. She was old enough to run away whenever she wanted, right? I'm sure he has repented.

    For all of you claiming to be so sure that he has "repented" -- how do you know for sure? Isn't that his bishop's job as a judge in Israel? Please stop trying to assume you know whether he has repented.

    From my perspective, waiting until you are confronted publicly to confess something is not an indication of true remorse...

  • Caucus Approaching
    March 12, 2010 10:32 a.m.

    As the caucuses near - Some advice for those who want to get involved with politics - If you have broken the law in the past (even if you have repented)- become a delegate, work on a campaign, make a donation, attend community meetings - but say "NO" to running for Congress, House, or Senate. It's bound to catch up with you and you're making our state look like ----

  • Just tired
    March 12, 2010 10:30 a.m.

    That is why morality should be taught by parents, we make mistakes but why pay to hide them.

  • Yes
    March 12, 2010 10:29 a.m.

    The age to get married in Utah is 14 with the parents permission. I know because my daughter was married at 16 and had three children by the age of 19.

  • Spin Hater
    March 12, 2010 10:27 a.m.

    It never fails to stun me when both the media and the people don't ask the questions to get to the bottom of a story like this.

    Elected officials run for election by expressing their principles and making commitments to the public. I would suggest that when a 28 year old employer takes his 14-15 year old employee to a place (a home? business?) in SLC where they can be nude (alone?) in a hot tub, those probably aren't the principles expressed in his campaign. And I would argue that the actions taken are far more calculated than the word "foolish" implies.

    When a news agency does not report on a story about a politician violating basic cultural principles in order to not have an impact on a political race (and since when has a news agency NOT reported a story out of respect for a non-disclosure agreement), it makes me question that agency's commitment to informing the public.

    So many questions remain unanswered (and probably unasked). If news agencies can't be bothered to ask the difficult questions, who can we trust to do so?

  • Oh Please...
    March 12, 2010 10:25 a.m.

    ... some of you repeatedly posting on the "sex offender" and "pedophilia" theme are REALLY getting ridiculous. If Garn's telling the whole truth, and there doesn't seem to be much reason to disbelieve that at this point, here are a few facts:

    a) This "incident" occurred two decades ago, and was apparently isolated;
    b) Garn was 28 at the time;
    c) The girl was slightly MORE than half his age--probably 15-17;

    Sex offenders and pedophiles MAKE SEXUAL CONTACT, pedophiles generally do so with much younger victims, and both make REPEATED ATTEMPTS. THAT is what puts them in jail. If Garn didn't do any of those things, prison isn't the place for him.

    Don't get me wrong--I do agree that Garn shouldn't have done even what he DID do. But it seems he's paying the price for that now. So let's let the punishment fit the crime, shall we? Knock off the overreaction, people.

  • Re: Walk in his shoes
    March 12, 2010 10:25 a.m.

    Not just a hug but a standing ovation.

  • DEH
    March 12, 2010 10:22 a.m.

    Reading most of these comments is an extraordinary commentary on rationalization and "protecting your own." Do you realize what would happen if any other nearly-30-year-old male was found to have gotten naked with a 15 year old in a hot tub? The man would be in prison and would thereafter be a registered sex offender for life. All the "blame the girl" commentary is equally incredible. It is pure hypocracy - in him, and in the conservative commenters that appear to be in the majority here.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 10:21 a.m.

    $150,000??? $150,000 is more than just hush money over nudity. If you believe this I have a bridge to sell you.

    So according to the legislature being nude with minors as long as you don;t touch them is ok, bribery is just fine and DUI driving is all forgivable. SWEEEEEET!

  • Mistake Vs. Responsibility
    March 12, 2010 10:21 a.m.

    I am shocked at the number of people who seem to be forgiving and forgetting what this man did. He was twice the age of a girl, who was a minor. How do you think they ended up in the hot tub together naked? You think he just happened to get this girl to do this? The girl worked for him! This is a HUGE mistake this man made. Should he remain in office? NO!!! He is a public servant, and we need to hold him to a higher standard. If he doesn't leave, vote him out!

  • Emjay
    March 12, 2010 10:21 a.m.

    The original offense is actually pretty mild. He definitely shouldn't have done it, but if sitting in a hot tub nude was all it was, it should be forgiven. It was definitely a boneheaded thing to do, but if nothing like that was repeated, it should be forgiven.

    This victim is clearly a blackmailer. She should be prosecuted as such. I hope she's required to give back the money. I don't believe such an event is all that damaging. She's not going to be scarred for life over it.

    However, this is a good example of how we all should be very careful of what we do. These things always come back to haunt you. Everyone learn a lesson from it.

  • Mary
    March 12, 2010 10:20 a.m.

    This is very troubling. This man, sexually abused a 15 year old by exposing himself to her. This is illegal isn't it?

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 10:19 a.m.

    I'm a Mormon and sometimes a Republican. If Garn is not held accountable for this, it will be a huge mistake for Republicans and the Mormon community in Utah. What he did was wrong. Was he married at the time? Sorry, you don't get to avoid the consequences of your actions because you're a Mormon and a Republican. Don't be hypocrites. Maybe it's none of my business, but I don't see how he could fully repent of this thing without telling the whole truth and suffering the consequences.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 10:18 a.m.

    The extortion is wrong too. We need to make abuse laws NOT retroactive. At this rate, everyone will end up in jail.

    Change the laws! I am a woman, and I say change the laws.

  • Irene
    March 12, 2010 10:13 a.m.

    I was born and raised in Utah, lived there until I was almost 30. I am so glad I don't live there now! The animosity and hatred of non-members against members of the LDS church is unbelieveable. I have lived in the midwest and the west for 44 years, and wouldn't trade those years for 1 year in Utah. People I have encountered over the years are more tolerable than anyone in Utah. I have many friends across the country who don't hate Mormons. Live! and Let Live!

  • Bill
    March 12, 2010 10:12 a.m.

    I personally forgive the man. He has obviously learned from his follies. If his family can forgive him, so can we. If the media ridicules every man who runs for office for his past sins, we won't have any politicians left. We've all made mistakes. Twenty years is long enough to change your life. It's also long enough to heal.

  • Deadeye
    March 12, 2010 10:12 a.m.

    I'm sorry, but I have a really hard time believing that "nothing happened". I was an adolescent in the LDS church during that time and know there was a lot of guilt from church leaders, but something more must have gone on to induce a "life ruining" guilt for her.

    It definitely seems hypocritical for the Deseret News to squash this story, especially when Garn choose to get back into Utah Politics eight years later. There is no doubt in my mind that if a similar situation had arisen with a Democratic candidate who was not LDS, the same treatment would have been given.

    Perhaps the editors felt it was more convenient to have some leverage against the House Majority leader? I did notice that Garn was unusually friendly to illegal aliens during his votes this year, something the Deseret News editors are constantly supporting. Maybe it's just a coincidence....

  • DanielFBoone
    March 12, 2010 10:12 a.m.

    Almost as shocking is the Deseret News decision to assist Rep Garn with his attempt to cover-up this incident. Did those responsible for this terrible decision think a public official paying off a blackmailer was not newsworthy? Sorry, that doesn't even begin to pass the smell test...

  • Oh Please
    March 12, 2010 10:10 a.m.

    This upright gentleman has been the primary opponent of the legislative ethics initiative.
    Well, now we know why....

  • Sad for all involved
    March 12, 2010 10:07 a.m.

    Most of all for the woman. I hope that she is able to work out her issues and get her life in order.

  • Anon
    March 12, 2010 10:04 a.m.

    If Garn's allegation that there was no physical contact is true, then it may be difficult to prove that there was a law broken. It looks like it is a he said/she said 25 years after the fact and while his story sounds a little shaky, he is apparently the more believable person.

    I'd bet dollars to donuts this woman will be on every talk show around in the next few weeks and may even be able to make a short term career out of this ala Anita Hill.

    Kinda sad and tragic all the way around.

  • saltydogyboy
    March 12, 2010 10:04 a.m.

    Kevin was wrong 2 times, but his wife was very wrong also. Are these adults who think one can do wrong, wife helps you cover this up and life goes on. come one scary as it seened lying to us all these years as an upstanding family is worst Slink away

  • Stop
    March 12, 2010 10:03 a.m.

    Blaming the girl for wanting a settlement... Start blaming Garn for the first offense. If he would have said no, then she wouldn't have demanded settlement money. Go back to the very beginning and you will find Garn is the catalyst of this whole thing.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 10:02 a.m.

    Why does this stuff always happen to the innocent and good guys?

  • Too Funny
    March 12, 2010 9:59 a.m.

    All the Democrat sheep on here giving holier than thou and intolerant comments.

    In your book all of this stuff is good.

    We are always asked to look the other way when Democrats do this stuff.

    Now that a republican made a mistake 25 years ago we need to make big deal out of it.

    You pathetic Liberals are so transparent and duplicitous.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 9:58 a.m.

    I love this, he got in the tub NUDE but didn't expect anything to happen sexually? Of course it was sexual. Just because there was not intercourse doesn't mean it was not sexual and not a crime. This wasn't innocent, he was freaking 28 years old.

  • Elmer
    March 12, 2010 9:56 a.m.

    Mr. Garn claims there was no sexual contact and all he did was enter a hot tub. While there's nothing illegal in that, it certainly begs more questions. What was the venue? In the context of a family-oriented nudist facility where clothing is optional for everyone, there would be nothing untoward about it. Otherwise though, why was he naked? Moreover, why was she naked? (or how did they become naked?)

    The biggest question is, if the encounter was as innocent as Mr. Garn described, why was he willing to pay $150,000.00 to cover it up? He sounds like very guilt-ridden person with a highly twisted and mixed-up set of ethics. Either that, or just a big phony who's been playing to voters that only will elect someone they perceive to be "morally perfect". Probably both.

  • BobP
    March 12, 2010 9:54 a.m.

    When Jesus was confronted with the woman taken in adultery he asked that he who was without sin cast the first stone. That fits this issue.

    Garn seems to have followed the admonition Jesus gave to the woman. Go and sin no more.

  • justjoe
    March 12, 2010 9:54 a.m.

    Does the fact that Mr Garn is Mormon and that he was with an underage girl make it so much different than if he were a Catholic clergyman getting into a hottub with an underage boy?

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 9:53 a.m.

    This was 25 years ago. Move on! Who cares?

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 9:53 a.m.

    Did you hear the news? The dictionary is changing the term Hypocrisy to: Republican.

  • So sad !!
    March 12, 2010 9:51 a.m.

    I once saw a bumper sticker which stated " any leader who would cheat on his spouse and children-would cheat on the people he leads". Why, can we have leaders who are morally clean?

  • MormonDem
    March 12, 2010 9:49 a.m.

    There's really only one way to properly respond to this incident: A MESSAGE BILL.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 9:49 a.m.

    So, according to Republicans in the legialatire, DUI and bathing nude with a minor are just fine and dandy if you are a "good person". I get it now.

  • Fred
    March 12, 2010 9:48 a.m.

    I have always wanted to run for political office JUST to see what the media would dig up one me. Would they dig up that I was late coming in from recess once while in the 2nd grade?

  • why?
    March 12, 2010 9:46 a.m.

    You know, I'm kind of sick of amoral people throwing it in the face of people trying to be moral everytime one of them messes up. Just because we are far from perfect doesn't mean we should stop professing living the values and qualities of a moral life. Personal actions that are immoral in no way make morality any less valuable. In fact just the opposite is true. Garn's case is a perfect example of the importance of living a moral life.

  • Legal misconceptions
    March 12, 2010 9:45 a.m.

    Many people here have no clue about the laws which govern their daily lives. Which is frightening, in a way.

    First, there is no criminal liability: The statute of limitations for any crime committed in this incident expired long ago, even before Rep. Garn paid her the "hush money". The standard limitation on misdemeanors is two years; four for most felonies.

    Second, the girl in question was a minor, but not a child, under Utah law -- which means this wasn't child abuse under any definition in the Utah Code. The term "child" in Utah law is reserved for children less than 14 years of age.

    Third, simply getting into a hot tub naked with a 15 year-old girl was at worst Lewdness -- a Class B misdemeanor (UCA 76-9-702).

    So, under Utah law, Representative Garn is no longer a criminal.

    Shortsighted? Yes. Stupid? Absolutely. Unfit for office? That's for the voters in his district to decide.

    But a "child abuser" he is not. And for what it's worth I'm not a lawyer, either -- just someone who has a basic understanding of Utah law.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 9:44 a.m.

    Republicans proved in this legislative session that the following are ok by their example:

    1. Getting in hotubs with minors nude
    2. Bribing said minor.
    3. Hiding such behavior.
    4. MORAL HYPOCRISY is OK as long as your have an R by your title.

  • Billybob
    March 12, 2010 9:44 a.m.

    Oh the apologists! I, for one, would never get into a hot tub with a teenage girl, with or without clothes. He made a mistake which has destroyed all confidence in his judgment. Why does he hold onto power. It is because he is intoxicated with all that comes with his position.

    Mr. Garn is a pathetic pervert who must resign immediately. What about his comarades who knew about this? He/she is also culpible.

    As a registered republican I feel it is time to get rid of these bums. We need change. Republicans have held exclusive power for far to long. This kind of arrogant behavior permeates all levels of government.

  • Walk in his shoes:
    March 12, 2010 9:41 a.m.

    Wonder if Garn has a 15-or-so-year-old-daughter? Wonder how he would react if this 15-year-old daughter was naked in a hot tub with her employer? How many of the men who embraced him have 15-or-so-year-old-daughters? What kind of message were they giving their daughters? "Don't worry, honey, daddy will embrace the guy if he confesses. After all, you are just a girl."

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 9:38 a.m.

    $150000 for what, sitting and talking in a hot tub? There's more to this story.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 9:37 a.m.

    ["I just want to tell the truth because it's part of the healing process for me."]

    Translation: She's been talking to the news and I have to get out in front and spin before its too late.

    [House members gave him thunderous applause for his honesty and embraced him.]

    What more needs to be said? The largely Rushpublican Utah House APPLAUDED actions that would make him a low level sex offender AND being involved in extortion!

  • Fredd
    March 12, 2010 9:36 a.m.

    She and her Bishop met with Garn in 2002 to discuss this. Doesn't the bishop have a responsibility to report this?

  • I regret
    March 12, 2010 9:35 a.m.

    things I did in my younger years! We ALL do stupid stuff! He didn't rape her or force her to get undressed so it was just bad judgement! I think he should be given his 150,000 back! A contract drawn up by two lawyers is binding I would assume.

  • As a law maker he should know:
    March 12, 2010 9:33 a.m.

    to an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation under Section 76-4-101 , 76-4-201 , or 76-4-203 , the person knowingly uses a computer to solicit, seduce, lure, or entice, or attempt to solicit, seduce, lure, or entice a minor or a person the defendant believes to be a minor to engage in any sexual activity which is a violation of state criminal law.

  • nerocat
    March 12, 2010 9:33 a.m.

    What was the young girl doing -NAKED in a hot tub where males were about. What kind of establishment
    was it? a gym, a private home? These items make a
    big difference....

  • Pleeeese!
    March 12, 2010 9:31 a.m.

    Please!! If you have broken the law to the extent that you need to cover it up with bribe money (even if it was 25 years ago) ... Confess,Repent, Get Help, Move On, but DON'T RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE! We need ethical legislators in our House and Senate. One does not need to be perfect to be ethical!!

  • HST
    March 12, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    This kind of behavior is unacceptable, regardless of when it took place, resign now Mr. Garn, you are a disgrace, if that had been my daughter, look out pal..

  • ER in AF
    March 12, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    Pardon me?!!?? Some of you guys are saying pedophile, and sex offender, sexual predator and naked. ????? Did I read the same article? Nowhere does it say he had sexual contact with her, nowhere does it say he molested her, nowhere does it say he got naked.

    Now, guess what, there are a lot of beautiful young women, and getting into a hot tub with them is a very poor showing of judgement, but nowhere is it illegal to get into a hot tub with one. Did I say poor judgement? Yes! Very!!! Can a person go to jail for it? Be indicted?? Get on the sex registry? NOOOO!

    Now back from LaLaland. It was 25 years ago, his wife knew about it, his kids know about it and now it is public record. It has not been repeated and he has demonstrated a strong record of service since. Good enough for me whether or not he is Dem or Rep.

    End of story for me.

  • RE: Who needs Child Protection L
    March 12, 2010 9:26 a.m.

    Exactly. A 28 year old man is hardly in his youth or a young man. He is a grown adult. Teenagers are kids.

  • Glenbeckastan:
    March 12, 2010 9:25 a.m.

    Come to Utah, where women have no rights. The assembly applauds this cretin's behavior. Must have been right after they passed the law that criminalizes miscarriages, they were giddy with success. $150,000 payed for no misconduct with an under-age girl in a hot tub, sure...just like John Ensign paying off his aides husband for no misconduct.

    Women's groups should campaign for a total boycott of this state for the way they treat them. What's next, witchcraft revisited....

    March 12, 2010 9:22 a.m.

    Maher should go to jail! MOVE ON WOMAN. Total cop-out if she blames ANYTHING on this incident. 25 years ago? C'mon. Maher is weak and obviously VERY VERY disturbed and desperate! Go directly to jail!!!

  • Standing ovation???
    March 12, 2010 9:22 a.m.

    I agree that this issue needs to be forgiven. From what I've read and heard Rep. Garn had already taken care of this problem with the woman, his family, and with his church. But should he have received a standing ovation??? That act, led by the Speaker, leads me to wonder about legislative "double standards" once again.

  • northwest reader
    March 12, 2010 9:19 a.m.

    Sad for both Deseret News and Garn. On one side I believe the lack of reporting shows a level of humanity, however the incident should have been reported.

    No winners here.

  • Why is it
    March 12, 2010 9:17 a.m.

    . . . if we press hard enough, we find EVERY SINGLE POLITICIAN is dirty?

    The fact that all the rest "console" and close ranks around Garn indicates they're all the same.

    Throw ALL the bums out!

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 9:16 a.m.

    Was he married at the time? Why is this PERVERSION and BRIBERY ok with fellow legislators? Count me as an LDS person who is not condoning this immoral behaviors.

  • She should pay!
    March 12, 2010 9:16 a.m.

    Big deal, he sat in a hot tub with a girl 25 years ago! Extorting $150,000 is the thing that the authorities should be investigating. (and she was not even smart enough to keep her agreement to be quiet for $150,000!) I hope this woman pays with some prison time!

  • Hopefully this
    March 12, 2010 9:15 a.m.

    and Kilpacks DUI will humble the GOP members a bit on the hill and make them hold their tongue a bit longer when the feel the need to judge others through there speeches and sometime inane laws. I for one hope this leads some people to realize having one party control is bad for everyone as only the views of the radical right are fairly represented at the moment. The rest of the arrogant GOP legislators, I hope you humble yourselves or it will likely be done for you. You're not better than anyone else.

  • Libety
    March 12, 2010 9:13 a.m.

    So a married adult hopping nude into a hot tub with a nude teenager is O.K. for future state legislators? How about a future teacher?

    Double standards... hypocrisy... Utah politics!

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 9:06 a.m.

    There doesn't have to be sex to be SEXUAL. It was wrong and immoral. Then he bribed someone with $150,000? Even more wrong to hide this.

    What is with Republicans and their sexual deviancy in positions of power legislating morality for the rest of us?

  • Only in Utah...
    March 12, 2010 9:06 a.m.

    ...does a man have to say "I am ashamed" and every one else has to say "I am saddened" when someone is the victim of extortion for something repented of long, long ago.

    And James: The "claim" was a payment for confidentiality. This woman now has to live with her dishonesty for the rest of her life. Garn has nothing to be ashamed of at this point except his poor judgment in paying the $$.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 9:04 a.m.

    Wait! I thought only DEMOCRATS had no morals and yet people are willing to forgive a REPUBLICAN very quickly.

  • Re: Re: Hmmmm
    March 12, 2010 9:03 a.m.

    "It's the reporters who control what gets broadcast to the world and those in Utah choose to pick on Republicans. Of course, there are more of them to pick on here, but that doesn't mean there aren't stories that could be told about Democrats."

    Ridiculous... do you for one moment truly believe any newspaper, particularly the Deseret News, wouldn't salivate at the chance of uncovering credible political scandal regardless of the person's politics. As they say, if you want to sell a paper put "sex", "murder", or "sports" in the headline. You seem to either be suggesting that the DesNews is above reporting on scandal (nope, just read that article) or is left-leaning in who they expose (hold on... I'm still laughing on this one). The only thing I will agree with is there are many more Republicans in the Utah House/Senate, hence it's more likely Utah political scandal will come from Republicans--this is obviously true.

    People are imperfect on both sides of the aisle, but lets not kid ourselves here--the right has had a particularly bad showing over the past few years, both locally and nationally.

  • Kathy
    March 12, 2010 9:03 a.m.

    I wonder what nonsexual conduct could be $150,000 worth of harm to her.

  • Jessie
    March 12, 2010 9:02 a.m.

    Give Garn a break! The man made some mistakes. Who hasn't? Life isn't perfect. I can't believe the Deseret News would even print a story like this. It's time to move forward.

  • reality
    March 12, 2010 9:02 a.m.

    It's funny to me all of the "forgiveness" and "mistake" comments on this board. It seems that when someone is Mormon these are the feelings people have, but when they are not Mormon, or heaven forbid Democrat, it seems the comments are not as nice and forgiving.

  • Who needs Child Protection Laws?
    March 12, 2010 8:58 a.m.

    It's incredible to see all the comments attacking the woman in this case. Particularly the "14-year-olds know what they're doing" crowd. Are 13-year-olds that much different from 14-year-old? 10-year-olds are now dressing like teenagers, so they should be held responsible for what happens to them. TEENAGE BRAINS ARE NOT FULLY DEVELOPED!!! They do not fully understand consequences to their actions. In fact, our brains continue to develop well into our 20s. There are reasons that we have child-protection laws.

  • Once again...
    March 12, 2010 8:58 a.m.

    Living a chaste life at all times and in all places will save you from so much trouble! We can learn from others' mistakes for sure. "Choose the right...There's safety for the soul!" Indeed!

  • bob
    March 12, 2010 8:58 a.m.

    25 years ago is long enough to live with guilt. 'Let you without sin cast the first stone' comes to mind. As for paying the girl and the newspaper keeping it quite I am surprised at these things and they are my real concern in reading this story. 'dumb and dumber' seems to be what I have to say about that!

  • swt
    March 12, 2010 8:57 a.m.

    So, she says she took $150,000, promised to never make it public and then said she never wanted to make it public, and then makes it public.

    Both people made mistakes in judgment, one is a liar, and now let's move on.

  • Lew Jeppson
    March 12, 2010 8:57 a.m.

    Well, Garn has held one of those many Republican lock tight districts (Demos won't even run in it), because LDS believe only Republicans are sufficiently righteous to hold positions in the legislature. That belief will no doubt continue.

  • Extortion
    March 12, 2010 8:56 a.m.

    The biggest mistake Garn made was paying the extortion money. It makes it look like he had something to hide. He needs to sue this woman for every penny. She is dishonest to the core. Only in Utah would a 22 year old hot tubbing incident be a scandal. Most newspapers would never print this had he not made the public statement. I am a Dem and usually not a Garn fan but today I back him 100%.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 8:55 a.m.

    It's not like Garn is working for Obama so, Utahns should overlook his past and forgive him.

  • Tom
    March 12, 2010 8:49 a.m.

    which is the greater transgression of the law for a 28 year old to be inappropriate with a 15 year old or for an undocumented immigrant to try to care for his family by crossing the border to earn enough money to feed his family. I think this was a long time ago and I have done stupid things in my life. Not this one though. But we are to quick to judge others "the law is the law".

  • xscribe
    March 12, 2010 8:47 a.m.

    Nice to see most on here realize people make "mistakes." So the next time it's a Democrat in this position, as inevitably there will be, we all expect the same amount of empathy and forgiveness.

  • From WA
    March 12, 2010 8:46 a.m.

    If this really was a one time incident 28 years ago, and no other act occurred later, what good does putting him on a list really do other than brand him? If other offenses have occured,

  • Alan
    March 12, 2010 8:46 a.m.

    I applaud Garn's finally coming forward. But I do not applaud that he came forward only under threat of exposure, that he covered a very serious crime for 25 years, that he claims he was "scared" and trying to make "amends" by paying hush money (which one might call witness tampering), that he accepted posts as lawmaker and leader and ethics committee member knowing he had violated very serious laws, and that he sexually abused a child and harmed his wife, his family, and Utah . . . And I especially do not applaud a congressional leadership that ignores the federal and state crimes, the coverups, the lies, the hush money . . . and Applauds the man who did those things! Does congress and its leadership really not get what this man did? Ivory tower. Old boys' club. Back room deals. Corruption. Power. Prestige. We need not throw the first stone. We need only follow ancient and modern scriptures and ethics. We should have full investigation, disclosure, and justice. Only then we should apply the principles of clemency and mercy.

  • WBM5
    March 12, 2010 8:45 a.m.

    Reminds me of a certain Person who says he didn't inhale. lol Same thing. If you did something stupid when you where young then move past it. I really don't think that woman was haunted her whole life from a single naked hot tub session. If she was then she has emotional issues that don't stem from one isolated incident.

  • I agree...
    March 12, 2010 8:43 a.m.

    Forgiveness is one thing but there is more to this story that needs to come out. It truly was extortion and could easily have been reported to the police. I believe that the authorities in 2002 would have sided with Garn. It will be interesting to hear the other side of the story now that it has come out publicly. I'll reserve final judgement till all of the facts are out.

  • Term Limits
    March 12, 2010 8:43 a.m.

    If there were term limits, he would have been out of politics years ago, and no one would care about this.

    The girl extorted this man out of a huge sum of money. If she was traumatized shouldn't she be getting help from therapists rather than going to newspapers and publishing how embarrased she is? Doesn't make sense to go public....Either way creepy situation all around.

  • Sammy
    March 12, 2010 8:43 a.m.

    Everyone wants to to make mountains out of molehills. Give it up. Move on.

    I hope that now it is public he will stop worrying about it.

    The TRUTH will set you FREE!!!!

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 8:42 a.m.

    I can't believe people are defending him, calling him a hero, and turning the victim of this into the bad guy. You're just as disgusting as he is!

  • Ahem...
    March 12, 2010 8:42 a.m.

    Hate the sin, love the sinner?

    or how do you guys phrase it?

    It's ok for people to break teen's lives, whether it is today, yesterday, a year ago, 10 or 20 --- it's breaking the law....

    Is morality not universal?

  • get over it......
    March 12, 2010 8:40 a.m.

    First of all, she needs to give the money back. If she expects him to confess to all his sins in public and remain on the chopping block, she needs to confess hers and give the money back.

    Secondly, I would hope that I don't have to stand at a jury and discuss everything I have done wrong. I would hope that I could go through the forgiveness process, never do it again, and have all of you forget it just like the Savior forgets it! If not, we all need to be convicted.....

  • MJH79
    March 12, 2010 8:35 a.m.

    Wow! 25 years ago. Who cares!

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 8:35 a.m.

    "Certainly it wasn't a send-him-to-prison offense if no sexual contact occurred."


    He'd be thrown in jail if he had a nude picture of a 14 year old on his computer, but if he sees the same thing in person he gets off with a slap on the hand and some public brow-furrowing?

  • Uh huh
    March 12, 2010 8:34 a.m.

    If a non-Mormon Democrat admitted this, would the applause have been so thunderous and the tears so flowing? Hypocrites.

  • Hatuletoh
    March 12, 2010 8:33 a.m.

    Everyone is human and prone to mistakes.

    Not everyone claims to have the moral authority to be a public leader, however.

    Nor do most of our, ahem, "youthful indiscretions" involve children. I don't think Mr. Garn is some sort of child predator, but all of you in the "forgive and forget" must not be parents.

    All that being said: 14 year old girls who fool around with 28 year old men often grow up to be blackmailling gold-diggers.

  • HST
    March 12, 2010 8:31 a.m.

    Morals and family values, in action..

  • Extortion Pays
    March 12, 2010 8:28 a.m.

    Evidently extortion pays. She got paid $150,000 (pretty pricey to not talk about a dip in a hot tub) and got to talk to the media about it and ruin his reputation to boot. Seems like she got her cake and ate it too.

    I don't approve of the man's extortion payment OR the hot tub incident, but two willing parties were involved, is there no accountablity for the other party involved? Nobody forced the girl involved into the tub, or forced her to demand the money, or forced her to then go to the press to see what more she could get out of this incident that happend so many years ago.

    How could it still be haunting her this many years later? I mean what was so traumatic about it? She sat in a hot tub with a naked guy?

  • Garn
    March 12, 2010 8:28 a.m.

    I agree with "he that lives by the sword dies by the sword." The child abuse laws are ridiculous.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 8:27 a.m.

    According to the Standard Examiner article, the woman says there was more to this than just hot tubbing. I don't know what the truth is, but I'm surprised the Deseret News didn't talk to the woman before publishing the article, in order to present both sides.

    I am not without sin. I'm also not a leader in our state's house of representatives.

  • Hey Satan,
    March 12, 2010 8:24 a.m.

    Just remember your old buddy Slick Willy. LDS Republicans will never top that one.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 8:24 a.m.

    Give him a break. It's been 25 years!

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 8:22 a.m.

    Dude's in the hot tub w/ a young hottie and NO SEX?
    THIS, my fellow citizens, is what's wrong in the State House!

  • Lisa
    March 12, 2010 8:22 a.m.

    25 years is a long time ago, 15 yr old girl hmmmmm, 100,000 20 odd years later hmmmmmm, thats alot of money for a skinny dip. Should of just owned up then. Hope thats all there was to it if not then we are back to a round of tiger.

  • Lauri
    March 12, 2010 8:22 a.m.

    Only in Utah. Reading these comments disgusts me. The Deseret News hid a CRIME, a CRIME against a child because the preditor was a powerful Mormon politician. If it were Joe Non-LDS/brown man down the street you would want him castorated and put on a the preditor list for assaulting a young mormon girl. Your "Family Values" are filthy.

  • blondie
    March 12, 2010 8:21 a.m.

    awe come on everyone. i don't throw stones, but this is another example of hiding the truth at the time it wouled hurt him most......election time. yes we all make mistakes, and forgiveness is paramount. But for elected representatives, they should be open at the time of this type of thing. they are NOT above the moral preaching they dish out to the rest of us. he fessed up 25 years later because he had to. what was he doing in that hot tub? blowing bubbles?

  • Tex LDS
    March 12, 2010 8:21 a.m.

    I'm fine if Garn's friends want to voice their support in private.

    But to see a fellow public servant voice official support for this liar makes them seem like a club of good-ol-boys.

    Forgiveness? Yes.

    Personal forgiveness on the floor of the people's house? No. There he should be roundly condemned.

  • dusgusted voter
    March 12, 2010 8:21 a.m.

    I cant believe people are praising him! He is a pedophile who paid to cover this story up for 10 years, then finally came clean when the shady deseret news decided to break the story. I Cant believe colleagues applauded him, this man questioned the need for ethics reform by mocking Utah's For Ethical Government, the fact is he has been lying to voters, the media, his colleagues! The session started with a closet drunk and now ends with a closet pedophile. you have got to be kidding me.

  • David
    March 12, 2010 8:20 a.m.

    Some people need some heavenly guidence and here is some.
    "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God"
    "Repent and your sins will be as clear as the white of snow"

    We have some residents of 'comments' on here who have an axe to grind and their comments are not Christian.

  • Laugh or Cry?
    March 12, 2010 8:20 a.m.

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the general response to this. If Garn was a Democrat, and the newspaper was the Trib, I guarantee that people on here would be rounding up a lynch mob.

    How revealing that few people on here are calling for this "30 year old boss" who had a sexual encounter (check the law) with a "15 year subordinate" to register as a sex offender. Instead, he's getting a hero's reception for confessing to the incident only AFTER the victim came forward again.

    Very revealing.

  • St. George Resident
    March 12, 2010 8:19 a.m.

    It's troubling that my representative David Clark (R-Santa Clara) gives unfettered support to a man that...
    1. got naked in a hot-tub with a minor, and...
    2. paid hush money to keep it quiet.

    Is this the best that we can do for leaders?

  • MormonDem
    March 12, 2010 8:19 a.m.

    Those of you writing this off as a youthful indescretion apparently had much wilder lives in your youth than I did. Also, I didn't know that teen stupidity was allowed to extend into your late 20s.

    Sex crime against a minor, plain and simple. Being a nice guy and a Republican doesn't erase that.

  • Trust
    March 12, 2010 8:16 a.m.

    This is a major scandal and cover up that must be investigated by the Department of Justice to protect the integrity of the democratic system of government and restore trust to the voters.

  • I Personally
    March 12, 2010 8:14 a.m.

    did not get into any nude HOT TUBS! until I was in college with other college students. This did happen a long time ago and she sounds like a money hound . The public can decide to vote for this man or not next time he is up.

  • Henry Drummond
    March 12, 2010 8:11 a.m.

    This has my head spinning. The D-News decides to keep this quiet? They knew about this 2002? Did they know that he was paying money to the women to keep this quiet? Isn't that extremely relevant? Maybe Garn can't see he's being blackmailed which can certainly compromise his work but I would hope the editors of this paper would realize that.

  • Mike
    March 12, 2010 8:07 a.m.

    Something that happens at age 28 is not a youthful indisgression. Youthfull indisgressions happen when you are 16 or 17. Garn just blew his credibility even though it happened many years ago.

    Garn needs to resign, regardless.

    The now adult girl was paid hush money a few years ago. She should be prosecuted for extortion.

  • Hypocrisy
    March 12, 2010 8:06 a.m.

    Ahhh yes, more of the famous GOP morals.

    Can't we all agree now that it doesn't matter whether you're D or R, both parties do horrific things equally?

  • Pedifile
    March 12, 2010 8:05 a.m.

    He's a coward who only after hearing he was going to be exposed for getting naked in a hot with a 15 year old girl! who worked for him! when he was 28! plenty old enough to know better.
    She earned the money, because he was selfish enough (and stupid enough) to try and pay off someone blackmailing him to protect a facade of who he represented to the public, a Front put up to sell a candidate.
    Then as a bonus the DN covers it up because he's one of theirs.
    15 years old being taken advantage of by her boss. Hero huh

  • Buster
    March 12, 2010 8:05 a.m.

    "I don't know the man you speak of, but I know the man I consider a friend, a leader and an asset to the state of Utah,"

    When I read this, I almost shed a tear. then I realized, this person is one of the people on the "Hill" that tell smokers how much to smokers, Drinkers how much to drink, and educators how to educate.

    I guess pride goes before the fall.

    The rest of you people that love to say the old stone thing, theese legislators spend all day, legislating morality, and throwing stones.

    Maybe our legislators, with their false indination, and prideful ways, will consider a little compassion towards others during the next session. Maybe the Garns could get back that $150K and use that to help assure that our teachers live above poverty levels, or to help with the gang issues some of our inner cities are facing.

  • Rethuglicons
    March 12, 2010 8:00 a.m.

    This party uses Christians and their principles to cheat the American people of basic needs, all the while breaking the same rules. The hypocrisy and anti-Americanism is deafening.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 7:58 a.m.

    My only question is "WAS HE MARRIED AT THE TIME?"

  • Hollywood Promo
    March 12, 2010 7:57 a.m.

    I think this is a shameless plug to promote the new movie "Hot Tub Time Machine" coming out later this month.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 7:55 a.m.

    If they didn't have sex were any laws broken?

    Although he did something that is certainly wrong from a moral standpoint, it looks to me like he is doing the right things now to try to take care of it.

    And one more thing... I'm 26, which is close to 28. There are some very old and mature looking 16 year olds out there. I'm not saying I'd get in a hot tub situation with one of them, I just want to point out that at age 28, "nearly half my age" isn't necessarily as nasty as it sounds. I know lots of people who are married with a 10 year age gap. Once women reach the "magical" age of 18, suddenly there's no issue.

    And another thing... if he did break the law, he should be prosecuted. That's all I have to say.

  • Money Back
    March 12, 2010 7:55 a.m.

    To all out there saying go after her for the money- two things you might consider- 1- she was a minor when this happened so this leads to number 2- do you think it is Garns best interest publically and personally to keep this issue alive by going after money he paid someone that was a minor at the time to get naked with him in a hot tub and then years later while running for higher office he paid to keep it quite- from a prof. PR perspective- say thank you and walk away and do nothing to keep this in the news one minute longer and chalk up the 150k as an expensive lesson

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 7:53 a.m.

    25 years ago. $150,000 paid in extortion. No sexual contact. Let it go. The only person causing this girl problems is herself. If she wants to get over it, don't bring it up. I'm glad it is out in the open - no more blackmail.

  • All lot of ...
    March 12, 2010 7:51 a.m.

    ...the folks writing here that are supporting this man (that committed a crime) are writing things eerily similar to some of the things that were said by the supporters of the late Ted Kennedy. please don't use the straw man arguement that the actions of the 2 had different severity levels and consequences. A crime is a crime, right all of you illigal immigrant haters? Ah when the shoe is on the other foot...

  • yeah
    March 12, 2010 7:48 a.m.

    The story sounds fishy. If the only thing that happened was that they were both naked in a hot tub, why would this girl be "haunted" by the whole thing? Doesn't add up one bit. If you are going to come clean you might as well come all the way clean.

  • RN
    March 12, 2010 7:47 a.m.

    Who of us hasn't made a poor decision in our lives? I know I have, and I continue making mistakes. I can forgive Garn and I hope others will also.
    I have a hard time believing that he forced this girl, who was 15 at the time to taking off her clothes and getting in the hot tub. She knew what she was doing just as much as he did.

  • DesNews protected pedophile?
    March 12, 2010 7:46 a.m.

    This is wrong on so many levels.

    Interesting how forgiving the "law and order" crowd is on this. Change the names, and they'd be calling for prison time for both the perpetrator and the news people who made the decision.

  • Martie
    March 12, 2010 7:44 a.m.

    Unless she's lived as a nun in a convent since that night I doubt very much that she's haunted by a hot tubbing encounter that happened 28 years ago where no sexual contact occurred. Come on! That's not believable. As to Rep. Garn, we're all tempted and make mistakes. There's a difference between a once in a lifetime incident and repeated bad behavior.

  • Re: Hmmmm
    March 12, 2010 7:44 a.m.

    If a Democrat did something "wrong" it wouldn't be a story. Only Republican indiscretions get reported in Utah by the media so that everyone can scream about hypocrisy. There's no hypocrisy if your morals are so unclear that you can't break them- very convenient Dems. Human nature is human nature and people in both parties make mistakes and poor choices. It's the reporters who control what gets broadcast to the world and those in Utah choose to pick on Republicans. Of course, there are more of them to pick on here, but that doesn't mean there aren't stories that could be told about Democrats.

  • Whoa!
    March 12, 2010 7:42 a.m.

    It is pedophilia to see a young woman naked?
    Where but in Utah? Garn is probably a hypocrite who would hang an opponent out to dry for this same kind of contact, but that is the worst you can say about him.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 7:41 a.m.

    A 30 year old man exposing himself to a 15 year old has committed a crime.

    No excuses.

  • Are You Serious
    March 12, 2010 7:39 a.m.

    I can't get over how many people are okay, no matter how long ago it happened, with what took place between a grown man and a teenager. Since moving to Utah I've seen the stories from Lone Peak High School to this and each time people are quick to point out how great the person was/is and make the teenagers out to be the bad people. Is this a Utah thing, condoning this kind of behavior? I can't think of another state that I've been in where people talk about how great these kinds of people are.

    Maybe somebody could explain to me why so many people are so quick to protect this guy and his image when what he did was so horrible. Hopefully the rest of the posts will prove me wrong.

  • DeepintheHeart
    March 12, 2010 7:38 a.m.

    First problem was getting into that hot tub, second was paying extortion money. If "nothing happened," and the girl hasn't said that it did, it was stupid, but was it criminal? Was it contributing to the delinguency of a minor? Hard to say after 25 years. Certainly it wasn't a send-him-to-prison offense if no sexual contact occurred. It's just hard for people to accept that under the circumstances. Not unheard of, but hard to accept.

  • Dave
    March 12, 2010 7:37 a.m.

    Something tells me that if a Democrat was in the same position, there would be much less forgiveness among both the Legislature and this comment board.

  • James
    March 12, 2010 7:34 a.m.

    The good thing about this is there is no more haunting in his life. This was 25 years ago, no allegations of sexual contact just horrible judgement. And she basically settled the claim for $150,000. Now that this is open both of their personal healings can begin. Like a confession.

    What is the age to be married in Utah? Is it still 14?

  • Hmmmmm
    March 12, 2010 7:32 a.m.

    Nice to defend Garn- wonder if this had been a prominant Dem.(local or national)how much love he/she would be shown- he was 28- not a youthful indiscretion- then when running for Congress he agrees to extortion and pays a sum of cash that most could not pay- so when he is much older he is still showing poor judgement that is just as selfish as the first act- where is the integrity in all of this- and remember he is the one that has put himself out in the public eye as an outstanding guy we should support- this is of his own making and speaks to his overall character- he was old enough both times to know better- makes you wonder what else is out there from this fine public servants- and we wonder why these people so oppose ethics reform and claim we do not need it here in Utah where we can trust our public servants becasue they have a "covenant" relationships with "we the people" Give me a break- hope his life is in order but as a "public" servant" he deserves any level of cristicism he gets

  • I wonder?
    March 12, 2010 7:26 a.m.

    What is there about a job that pays 10,000 that makes it worth 150,000 to keep it? And why is it (when there is a problem) the solution to political types always seems to be - throw money at it.

  • Satan
    March 12, 2010 7:25 a.m.

    Another Mormon Republican caught with his pants down, so to speak.

  • St. George Resident
    March 12, 2010 7:25 a.m.

    When David Clark (R-Santa Clara) declares his unfettered support for a married man that got naked in a hot tub with a minor, then years later pays a bribe to keep it quite... it's time for both men to leave state government!

  • MormonDem
    March 12, 2010 7:24 a.m.

    Wait a second here. If this guy had been busted for having a nude picture of this girl on his computer he'd be thrown in jail. But he goes hot-tubbing in the nude with her and everyone says "Aw, it's okay pal, thanks for owning up to it."

    What's the statute of limitations? What sexually predatory crimes were committed? Will he be entered into the sexual predator database?

    Or are we just going to call it good because he's a Republican?

  • AlpacaFamilia
    March 12, 2010 7:24 a.m.

    Wow! I am really impressed with the forgiving nature of the DN readers. 25 years is a long time, that's for sure. Though, 2002 isn't that long ago. Certainly their were laws broken. Certainly there were serious moral lapses. Why am I not convinced the reaction would be the same if the politician was a Democrat, or not a white Mormon son of an important Utah family? If he had gone to trial 25 years ago and convicted, he would be a convicted pedophile. He would have had to report his movements as a convicted sex offender. He has admitted to a crime against a child. Why are we so quick to pat this guy on the back and say "all is forgiven?" I believe that he should be forgiven, but the "law and order, a-crime-is-a-crime" crowd just made an about-face that makes my head spin.

  • Brandon
    March 12, 2010 7:24 a.m.

    This is a national disgrace to American politics and a insult to the state of Utah. The Desert News covered up the story and kept the information from voters who had the right to know in making their selection. The newspaper should be censored and put on probation, and answer the question: did the newspaper bury the story because Mr. Garn is republican and Mormon, would it have been different otherwise, was the church involved in this at all.

  • He that is without sin
    March 12, 2010 7:17 a.m.

    When these kind of things happen I think of the story in the New Testament about the woman, caught inadultery, who the Jews were going to stone and how Christ said, "he who is without sin cast the first stone". My own feelings are the same. Having said this, I truly believe that the cases, like this, which come to light represent a small fraction of the overall incidents of immorality among us. IOW, it is likely that many, many, good upstanding men (and women) are engaging in similar bad conduct but we just don't find out about it. People who we would never think would do such things are likely doing such things. Examples, abound, we can all think of them, Seminary principles, bishops, stake presidents and others have all been found to be fallible in this sense. We should be under no illusions about anyone, we are all vulnerable to such temptations.

  • Resign!
    March 12, 2010 7:16 a.m.

    The big mistake was not made in the hot tub. It occurred when this slimy politician thought he could buy silence. It's nice he recognizes the mistake 8 years later, but he should resign for trying to cover it up. This guy's no different than Richard Nixon.

  • Disgusted ain't half of it!
    March 12, 2010 7:14 a.m.

    As a longtime DNews reader and former journalist I say Garn is not the only one who made a mistake and should have known better. The DNews clearly was wrong not to report the story.

    What happened to a commitment to journalism? DNews, did you ever consider your responsibility to your readers, to voters? What business are you in? Protecting those in power who engage in conduct that is clearly inappropriate?

    You failed to meet the most basic journalistic standards here. Your top editors owe your readers a public mea culpa just like Garn delivered.

    The credibility and reputation of a once fine newspaper slips a few more notches. It's sad to watch.

    Now DNews, surprise me by posting this critical comment!

  • disgusting
    March 12, 2010 7:11 a.m.

    How many other stories is the Deseret News sitting on, to protect the myth that Utah's political and religious leaders are all squeaky clean?

  • Hey Disgusted
    March 12, 2010 7:09 a.m.

    For once, it appears a news organization did the right thing. Perhaps you should only read the National Enquirer for your news.

    Do you not have mistakes in your distant past that you have done everything possible to repent of? I believe, like the Deseret News, that this man did enough to put this behind him. Why would you choose to bring this up when he has repented and it is not relevant today?

    I live in Georgia and have never even heard of Kevin Garn before noticing this article so I am as unbiased as can be. I only read this article because I had the chance to meet Jake Garn once 30 years ago and this headline caught my attention and I wondered if this was his son.

    Since you are apparently without sin, I guess you have the right to cast the first stone at him.

  • RE: Disgusted
    March 12, 2010 7:08 a.m.

    Um, "Disgusted," I used to work for a newspaper outside of Utah. Actually, it's fairly standard practice for a paper to sit on a story when the allegations are highly damaging yet largely unproven and there would be little public good done by releasing it. If we'd released every rumor we heard about, we'd have been called the National Enquirer. Newspapers do their best to use common sense and good judgment, too. If they DIDN'T, the question you ask would be 100% valid.

  • Democrat
    March 12, 2010 7:08 a.m.

    If we demand perfection from our leaders, we will have very few of them. That said, this was a very serious incidentthat resulted from spur of the moment extremely poor judgement. Time is the best indicator of remorse. He seems to have been innocent since, let's move on.

  • A Garn Guy
    March 12, 2010 7:07 a.m.

    I am saddened by this. I have known Kevin for a long time and I believe him to be a good man. He has been a champion for ethics reform and has represented those of us who live in his district well. While he obviously made a mistake years ago I hope people will be willing to look at all the good he has done since this indiscretion and continue to support him. He is one of the few really great leaders we have in Utah.

  • Hmmmm
    March 12, 2010 7:04 a.m.

    Will Garn be on the sexual predator list?

  • proudamerican
    March 12, 2010 7:03 a.m.

    I don't know anything about Garn, but kudos to him for coming clean in the way that he did. He didn't make excuses, and he's clearly ashamed. I'm actually impressed as well with the way the Deseret News handled the incident--keeping their word with Garn, and not publishing something that happened a quarter of a century ago because they knew it would have an impact on the race yet was of very little news value. I hope Garn continues to serve.

    March 12, 2010 7:02 a.m.

    Before any of you "cast the first stone," consider your own youthful (or mature) indiscretions. I personally hope Garn sues this woman into bankruptcy.

  • Doodles
    March 12, 2010 7:00 a.m.

    I think it might surprise most people of they were privy to the errors most people have made in moments of weakness. Certainly if our own lives were up for minute examination, very few would come out perfectly clean.

    Congratulations to Mr. Garn for admitting a mistake and trying to move forward, having learned a difficult lesson and impacted those most dear to him with a day of poor judgement. It would be nice if all those who wish to cast stones would purify their own lives first.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 7:00 a.m.

    I am not hearing that the public and Deseret News understand the gravity of this situation. A little quick math shows us that "nearly half my age" when he was 28 means that the girl was 14, or maybe 15 or 16. The fact that he did not actually state her age clearly indicates that she was in fact a minor (or else he would have unequivocally stated her age). Why would you get into a hot tub with a 14- or 15- year old unless you were sexually attracted to them? Even if there was no sexual contact, this guy intentionally put himself into a situation where it became much more likely. In the English language, we have a word for this: "sexual predator". Is there any doubt that he would have been prosecuted if the police had come upon him during this encounter? And yet we're being asked to look the other way because it happened "so long ago". Even the woman is being called "unbalanced"...maybe that's because an older guy preyed on her when she was younger!

  • Kevin Garn
    March 12, 2010 6:58 a.m.

    I've known Mr. Garn for nearly thirty years. He is a very selfless and kind man. He is a man of great integrity and compassion. Most would have ignored what happened and said nothing and let things pass over. There was a time in my life that he helped and gave me great compassion. Yes, he admitted to a mistake yet his service of love is so much larger.

  • If Obama had done this...
    March 12, 2010 6:51 a.m.

    ...the outcry would be deafening.

    A Utah GOP politician does it and it leads to a standing ovation.

    The insularity of our One Party Rule is stunningly toxic and dysfunctional, but I would bet my house it will remain for the next 20 years, easily.

    I predict a second version of the "Strengthening Democracy Commission" as a nauseated public turns further away.

  • It Figures
    March 12, 2010 6:50 a.m.

    Maybe now he and his buddies will stop wagging their fingers at everyone else who doesn't live the life they think we all should lead.

    I'm sure there's more to this story that will surface.

  • Blackmail never ends
    March 12, 2010 6:44 a.m.

    and people who think they will make a one time payment and be done with it are deluding themselves. It is interesting that at the same time our society becomes more permissive, things like this become bigger political issues. We're talking, it is claimed, a one time incident in 1985. If that is indeed the case, this doesn't seem to be a big deal.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 6:42 a.m.

    Would any of us want our worst mistakes published in the paper?....not me! Thank heavens for repentance and forgiveness.

  • oldpeubloguyinwyo
    March 12, 2010 6:41 a.m.

    To help with the healing, he needs to go back and sue the now "adult" woman for the "silence" $$ and make her pay the money back since she broke her word, as an adult. Just sayin'. And I would write an article to the lady's local newspaper in NH about how she extorted $$ from him and the "demanded" $$ for her silence and how she broke her word. It matters what happened, and it matters that she broke her word. 20+ years ago.....come on folks.....20+ years ago. Kevin, you keep on truckin' and continue to believe in yourself and your family. I do not know you but you seem to have very good people surrounding you which leads me to believe that you are "good people".

  • Bad lawyering
    March 12, 2010 6:36 a.m.

    If lawyers were involved, this shouldn't have happened. If I were Garn, I would sue her to recover the money he paid for her confidentiality.

    This is why you should never settle blackmail cases.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 6:34 a.m.

    What bothers me is not that he did the hot tub thing as a young man. It is 1. Paying hush money instead of caving to blackmail, all to protect a state legislative career, and 2. the moralistic attitude of the GOP, while at the same time engaged in shady behavior either present or past. Is this our version of South Carolina? Utahns have seen plenty of GOP hypocrisy. It would be a good and correct thing to vote Democratic and restore balance. The GOP leadership is arrogant and untouchable, and they know it.

  • justjoe
    March 12, 2010 6:26 a.m.

    Not just "a mistake"; the man is a pedophile. It was against the law then and against the law now.

  • Extortion is the real news
    March 12, 2010 6:18 a.m.

    I don't like Garn, but it sure looks like the real news is not so much the stain of a decades old incident, but rather that there was extortion that resulted.

    How about some more investigation on the woman's other actions.

    If Garn resigns from politics for good, it would not bother me. If he stays, it would not bother me.

  • Yea, RIGHT!!!
    March 12, 2010 6:16 a.m.

    He got naked, got into a hot tub with a naked girl 1/2 his age, and didn't touch her and she didn't touch him? This sounds like a former U.S. president saying, "I did not have sex with that woman." This had better be investigated by the police and charges filed just like would happen for a democrat who did it.

  • Hmmm
    March 12, 2010 6:13 a.m.

    So, Garn opted NOT to reveal this in 2002 because he was "scared" of being publicly judged. You don't suppose it had anything to do with the fact that he was running for Congress and feared it would cost him votes, do you? I wonder if the House Republican leaders would drape their arms around a Democratic colleague who suffered the same fate. Or worse yet, a non-LDS Democrat, or a non-LDS gay Democrat? These guys are so phony.

  • It is stated:
    March 12, 2010 6:07 a.m.

    "He that lives by the sword shall die by the sword." Garn has voted on laws that eliminate the statute of limitations for child abuse. He.himself, has helped pass laws dealing with child abusers - there is no forgiveness in the eyes of the law. If the county attorney doesn't file charges, then that is also a criminal offence. He needs to be fingerprinted and put on the sex offender registry he helped create for people like him.

  • Why is he a Hero?
    March 12, 2010 6:06 a.m.

    While I agree that this shouldn't be a big story since it was a stupid mistake a long time ago, why is Garn being treated like a hero by his colleagues for "telling the truth" when he only came forward because his indiscrection was about to be revealed anyway? Again, I don't necessarily blame him for not coming forward earlier since it's a personal issue and hopefully he's changed (we are all too quick to judge and we've all done stupid things), but don't treat him like a hero either.

  • Dave
    March 12, 2010 6:04 a.m.

    She waited to go public for long enough that she couldn't be prosecuted for extortion.

  • refried
    March 12, 2010 5:59 a.m.

    He belongs in prison. She was a child.

  • Thunderbolt
    March 12, 2010 5:32 a.m.

    "I did not have sex with that woman!" Heard that before?

  • I wonder
    March 12, 2010 5:13 a.m.

    I wonder if she is now going to pay back the hush money?

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 4:49 a.m.

    I don't personally know Kevin Garn and the type of person he is. And obviously I don't know the women either, but it sounds as though she spent the 150k and probably was coming back to get some more money and Garn decided he was not going to pay anymore. Good for him that he said no and was willing to take a stand and suffer the consequences of a poor decision he made long ago. I am just glad the indiscretions of my past are not under the same public scrutiny......YIKES!!!

  • of course she's haunted
    March 12, 2010 4:38 a.m.

    Of course she is haunted. What do you expect?

    Haunted for extorting $150,000 for something that was clearly as much her fault as his.

    Haunted for failing to keep her promise in exchange for the $150,000.

  • All Humans make mistakes
    March 12, 2010 4:33 a.m.

    Everyone makes mistakes. Some more than others. Some mistakes are doozies. On the doozie scale, this one (28 year old ought to know better) with a 15 year old -- is a doozie. But after so many years, time to move on. I'm glad to see that the Deseret News acted in a thoughtful and responsible manner. So many press operations today do slash and burn regardless of whose lives they ruin in the process. Journalism and ethics (not an oxymoron) should go together and editors make weighted judgement about the public value of private information, the impact on innocent family members, etc. More interesting question is, would Deseret News have run the story AFTER the Republican primary? Would have likely handed the election to the Democrat candidate, depending on the timing. This is messy indeed.

  • Forgive and Forget
    March 12, 2010 3:42 a.m.

    The D. News is not and should not be part of the sensational tabloid crowd. Once Garn lost in the primaries, what purpose would be served to let "disgusted" in on the story? I for one am just as interested in knowing the backgrounds and values of those who express such outrage and righteous indignaton at some of these events. I am betting that their lives, under a microscope, would not be as pure as they pretend.

    In so many ways, Garn is a man to be respected. Mistakes happen, even stupid mistakes. Garn has and will continue to pay a price for his error in judgement. It is NOT our role to exact that price, except to potentially without our vote at the ballot box. Figue out if the 2010 version of Garn is worthy of your vote and leave the rest of it alone.

    Good luck Kevin. Thanks to the D-news for not resorting to the tactics of the grocery story tabloids. I don't need to know everything.

  • Nice
    March 12, 2010 3:40 a.m.

    Its good to see a man willing to admit a past flaw. Rep. Garn is good man. He has worked long and hard to see that his constituents in Layton are well represented. And in all honesty, I am actually glad that the Deseret News acted with integrity in leaving a "story" that wasn't much of story alone. Rep. Garn had acted in good faith and was straightforward in his actions then, and he is doing so now. I look forward to voting for Garn again.

  • let it go.
    March 12, 2010 3:04 a.m.

    25 years is a long time ago. I say they need to put the girl in the clink for blackmale. She needs more money so here she is again. lets all move on -

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 2:43 a.m.

    How many of us have done things we later regretted?

    Everyone raise your hands ... come on now, be truthful.

    Now then, let's move on and worry about the things that affect us now.

    Just one more thing, he needs to get his money back ... plus interest.

  • Refund
    March 12, 2010 2:35 a.m.

    Since the girl broke the terms of the agreement, does she have to return the money? She can't have it both ways.

  • Disgusted on many levels
    March 12, 2010 1:34 a.m.

    D. news kept quiet!! Can they ever be trusted again? Garn and Killpack what a pair.

  • doggie
    March 12, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    Garn is a very decent man. Mistakes that long ago need to be forgiven. I for one don't expect public servants to be perfect.