Cheryl Maher says Kevin Garn lied about hot tub contact

Hush money may have violated election laws

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    July 12, 2011 1:07 a.m.

    What i have to say will fall on def ears i am sure, after reading through these comments. Both sides of this Garn paid her off, pill popper, her fault, ya-da-ya-da.. Must be a slow news day for the two papers that make rounds through SLC.
    This had nothing to do with Kevin Garn! So please lets not speculate and rehash what was, in my opinion your thoughts are all valid and appreciate those who sincerely pay respects Cheryl. The Garn incident is so much more then what was and being reported, we have put that behind us and hope those who would throw bricks would hold them for another victim you feel is worthy to condemn.
    She was murdered, out of her control, her choice to live was taken from her and we truly pray for her and the family of the boy who was most likely dealt with life or life dealt with him... Once again, this is not a Garn story but reality of Sundays tragedy of two people, one being my big sister...

  • Eddie
    April 5, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    Hey did you hear about Bill Clinton and some girl named Monica Lewinski? Wow! we need to investigate some more into that whole thing! I really believe that there was more to the story and what about the job that she was offered up in NYC from a friend of the Clinton's? Really, we need be to rehash all that again if we are going to keep this thing in the forefront of the news.

    Please people, let this alone! Get on with your life!

  • Rico A
    April 5, 2010 11:37 a.m.

    Kevin is a good man. He made some mistakes, but who hasn’t? Can you blame him for not wanting to be publicly humiliated by this extortionist-drug addict? Hang in there Kevin. There are a lot of people out here that appreciate you and what you have done for our community.

  • James
    March 19, 2010 9:36 a.m.

    I am literally sick to my stomach reading these comments that blame the victim. I don't care what she has done after the incident(s)-she is not a legislator or steward of the public trust. She does not work for me. He does. I don't want to see him strung up in public, but sheesh, are we really going to stoop to attacking HER?

  • Jack M
    March 17, 2010 5:23 p.m.

    There's no winners in this case. I guess we're just trying to figure out how slimmy all the players are.

  • Represent
    March 17, 2010 11:30 a.m.

    If she was a church member, who knows if she even went to church. It sure sounds like she needed Christian care. She may not have asked for any help, though, or reported anything.

  • The slammer awaits
    March 17, 2010 10:51 a.m.

    Garn paid C. Maher a $150,000 to keep her mouth shut. Garn is GUILTY to the hilt. people do not do this kind of stuff unless there are some major issues and secrets to be kept..... GARN IS GUILTIER THAN SIN! And sin it was.

  • KtotheL
    March 17, 2010 10:12 a.m.

    Where does a dude get $150,000 to buy someone else off and why is a seat in the Utah State Senate worth that much to someone? What did he get in return for his so called "Public Service"?

    The only reason why these politicians get into office it seems is to enrich themselves or have power over others. You give these creeps an inch and they'll take a mile.

    And who is slimy enough to take $150,000 in "hush" money? Maher, how can you be so easily bought?

  • @Represent
    March 17, 2010 9:36 a.m.

    You bring up a good point; where was the church in all this. If she was a church member why wasn't the church there for her when she needed Christian care and church help.

  • Represent
    March 17, 2010 8:30 a.m.

    I am disgusted in a couple of different ways by all of this. This type of behavior should be condemned and is not acceptable by anyone, let alone an elected official.

    Also, those who want to generalize and lump all politicians and all Mormons as evil in this way are going way too far. Saying that no one should be trusted or all are bad is ridiculous. Also, so is assuming that church leaders tried to cover it up when we don't even know if he reported it to church officials.

  • DV
    March 16, 2010 6:30 p.m.

    I can't believe the lack of honesty in the leaders we elect. Disappointing.

  • Anonymous
    March 16, 2010 5:04 p.m.

    It is AMAZING to me how many people are falling for Garn's anemic excuses.

    You REALLY want us to believe this was just some accident Garn? I am not some fool, I know what a man wants when he gets into a hot tub naked with a female. This was a child, A CHILD.

    Garn is the perpetrator, not the victim, he is also a BRIBER and his LIES OF OMISSION will be judged accordingly.

    God is not so gullible Mr. Garn, you will not receive thunderous applause in the courts of Heaven.

  • Iggy
    March 15, 2010 7:04 p.m.

    There is nothing better than this picture to illustrate the corruption and hubris in Utah politics and religion!

    Garn was part of a trend. Since the mid-1980's, there have been over 20 criminal prosecutions of Mormon defendants for sex with children.

    But that is nothing. Think of all the incidents, like Garns', that went unreported and were covered up by ecclesiastical leaders working together in closed-door Bishops' and Stake Presidents' offices in order to protect the reputations of leaders who were supposed to have been "called of God by prophecy and by the laying on of hands by those in authority!"

  • Clear...
    March 15, 2010 6:31 p.m.

    The first contact was CHILD ABUSE!

    All other events are extensions of his first acts toward this woman.

    If she did not receive HELP in regard to the abuse, the path and mistakes of her life are on GARN's shoulders.

    She may not be innocent of any transgressions, but GARN is guilty of the SINS. There is a difference.

    Our son was molested by our scout leader (admittedly), and the CHURCH has ignored the damage and the pain to our son. Several of his actions AFTER the molestation are being weighed on our son's shoulders.

    I can't wait for the JUSTICE of the Lord when he JUDGES our pain and losses. Mercy will be extended to the VICTIMS of abuse.

    Judgement will come to the abusers.

    Garn, his wife and son--if they covered up the issues, should all be ashamed...and they all chose CAREER, POSITION, MONEY and FAME over right.

    Shame on your whole family! I Hope this woman gets help and can begin a good life. It is never too late for help.

  • crispin
    March 15, 2010 1:56 p.m.

    This attitude of blame the victim is really sickening. Every time I read another one of the comments blaming the woman, a little of my love for life in Utah dies. This man took advantage of a 15 year old girl. He had been her Sunday School teacher. He was her boss. I am sick to my stomach reading these comments. How many of you who are so forgiving have been doing the same thing? Is that why you are so ready to forgive him? I am just angry about those things he admitted. The things he lied about and continues to lie about are a totally different thing. Any psychologist worth anything will tell you that what he did all those years ago helped to make her the woman she is today. And yet you blame the victim. You are one SICK society.

  • Bob
    March 15, 2010 1:50 p.m.

    I wonder if you can sue over breach of contract? If he paid her to hush, and she talked, can't he sue?

  • Hypocrisy
    March 15, 2010 11:11 a.m.

    1) exposed himself to a minor, who was also his employee
    2) illegally paid $150,000 in extortion money and failed to inform FEC
    3) Arranged for a cover-up by both Des News and SL Trib
    4) Denounced gays at every opportunity.

    Only #4 matters in Utah.

  • Mark Herriott
    March 15, 2010 9:36 a.m.

    It seems a little odd that a grown man would get into a hot tub naked with a 15 year old girl and there was no physical contact. Then why even get into a hot tub? Why not just go to Golden Corral for a nice steak?

  • Theresa
    March 15, 2010 9:07 a.m.

    ^hasn't subsided.

  • scott
    March 15, 2010 5:49 a.m.

    a lot of 15 year old girls are mature and know what they want, thats a fact all 300 commenters need to know, and a lot of 29 year old boys know what they want! thats life !

  • Diane
    March 14, 2010 4:14 p.m.

    Okay. I agree. The guy was 100% wrong. But I don't think Cheryl was tied down and forced. How about some personal accountability? Then she extorts money and STILL blabs to everyone? She and her family are "traumatized"? Give me a break! Here's your 15 minutes of fame. If anyone is doing any traumatizing it is Cheryl with her big mouth. And I agree . . . pay the taxes on the $150,000. What a grab for attention!

  • Diana
    March 14, 2010 3:14 p.m.

    Sorry sweetheart...but you dont get any sympathy from me. THIS incidident is NOT what screwed up your life. YOU did. Get over it. Now, I am not excusing his behvior in any way--but he is not the root of your problems. You might want to look around and see what kind of real problems others have...such as no job, food, money, poor health etc, and then see what you can do to make a positive difference in their lives. You have screwed up yours going public with this information again. You already got $150,000. GET OVER IT!!! You look beyond pathetic.

  • Applause wasn't for service
    March 14, 2010 2:52 p.m.

    Give me a break! The applause was for his service! He hadn't resigned! He gave a stirring speech! He starts like it's a confession and then totally makes it about himself, the victim of extortion and a invokes his years of public service! It was an act! Was everyone there so naive?

  • truthteller
    March 14, 2010 2:13 p.m.

    Justice is long, long overdue. The LDS church should finally excommunicate Garn for this and other possible acts of adultery. NO DOUBLE STANDARD. None of this "we take this very seriously" BS from Church authorities and then no action, even promotion to Bishop. Why is it that these priesthood holding men always get away with sexual dalliance and are forgiven, (or even applauded!) and the women are dissed and held to account.

  • A Few Thoughts
    March 14, 2010 12:21 p.m.

    1. It is absolutely normal and human nature to NOT want your sins and mistakes made public. It is not an indication of a lack of repentance or humility to want to make ammends privately. Often going public or even confessing to a Bishop leading to a court will only cause pain to other innocent people like your family members. I actually see the act of going public or even confessing to a Bishop as a very SELFISH act when it inevitably hurts others. Garn owed every responsibility to help this woman and his family heal. But going public did not have to be a part of that process and trying to avoid publicity is both natural and avoids further hurt to others.

    2. HOWEVER, he certainly DID NOT have to run for office. That is where he was selfish. Making ammends privately is NOT selfish. It was likely the wisest thing for those innocently involved. Insisting on running for office after all of this however WAS selfish.

    3. It truly shocks me how intelligent Americans can in good consciounce belong to ANY political party at this point. I am proud to be an INDEPENDENT who THINKS!!

  • No Question...
    March 14, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    what Garn did was wrong. Absolutely. I am not here to judge he or Ms. Maher on whether or not they've "repented" for their past mistakes. But I want to make it clear that the other legislators were not in any way applauding Garn for what he did or for his confession. They were applauding his years of solid service to the state which, regardless of his past doings, are still valid and appreciated. Most of his colleagues were probably aware this was the last time he would ever stand on the House floor in the role of legislator and were thus expressing their appreciation in that forum. Was the timing poor? A matter of opinion. But I don't think the true (not the perceived) sentiment was.

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2010 11:09 a.m.

    I can't believe some of you are pointing out this woman's short comings....blame the victim. She was a young girl that was abused by her adult employer. Check out the facts, this abuse has profoundly impacted her life for the worse. Abuse victims usually have substance abuse problems, sexual problemsm, and relationship problems for their entire life. Whatever Garn has achieved during his life is erased by this abuse.

  • amie
    March 14, 2010 9:31 a.m.

    What Garn did is wrong no matter which way you look at it. Paying her off was even worse. He should have taken the fall when she first came to him for the $150,000. I'm sure this is devastating to his family, even more so now that he is such a public figure. I do believe in forgiveness, but years of secrecy has added more and more lies that will take many years to be forgiven of.

    The fact the Maher blaming her broken life on Garn is irresponsible. Being a victim doesn't take away your agency. She made her own choices. If she really needed healing and wanted to do the right thing she should have refused the $150,000 and come forth then.

    Sad, sad story.

  • scott
    March 14, 2010 4:35 a.m.

    lesson learned, wait til there 18, save 150 grand and your career !

  • Lasergirl
    March 14, 2010 12:02 a.m.

    For those of you who love to blame the victim, GARN has admitted he gave her alcohol and went into a hot tub with a minor while both of them were naked. What the heck do some of you need to recognize immorality? He was in the wrong and He came up with the bribe. Not her. The Mormons condoning this behavior or blaming her are pathetic.

  • Lasergirl
    March 13, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    She is the victim. And yes, sexual contact with an older employer while she was a minor is hurtful and immoral and illegal. And she did not extort money, he bribed her to shut up. In her efforts to recovder from sexual abuse, she is coming forward with the truth.

    She is not ruining his life, he did that all by himself, well, with the help of his wife and his church that is.

  • BYU alum
    March 13, 2010 11:56 p.m.

    I also want to know what the Deseret News was covering up this story?

    Would they have done the same service for a democrat?

    dont' think so.

  • Dee Dee
    March 13, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    Don't run for office if you have skeletons in your closet. Duh. Secrets don't stay secret when you're in the public eye.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 10:36 p.m.

    Sooner or later the addict needs to give up his or her story and take responsibiity for their own lives and decisions. At the age of 40, I doubt this was closure for her. So what could be the motive for opening this up to the media 25 years later---AFTER accepting money from him to keep quiet. I doubt it was "closure" or any attempt to heal her past. God knows the truth. About each of them and their respective motives. I guess that's all that matters.

  • To Ken and Others
    March 13, 2010 10:29 p.m.

    Garn broke laws. It is that simple. No 15 yr. old, even when they grow up can say, "It's okay. Your $$$ makes it better." He knew he was in TONS of trouble or he wouldn't have flown to NH to meet with her and then give her $$$. It isn't up to her to move on or to him to pay more $$$. It is up to the prosecutors. He has admitted to acts that would constitute crimes with his words, his rushing to hush things up in 2002, and especially his payoff. No amount of money should be able to buy silence.

    His good does NOT erase broken laws. As with any of us, our "good" should be simply "good." Good done to better humanity. Good done because it is... good.

  • Layton constituent
    March 13, 2010 9:44 p.m.

    First, it makes me ill that members of the legislature gave him a standing ovation for his "honesty." Second, the girl was 15 at the time and no way was she mature enough to understand the ramifications. Sometimes MEN forget that a girl make look like a woman but emotionally she is still a girl. How would you men, and women, who think she encouraged him would like their 15 year old daughter naked in a hot tub with a man almost twice her age. Disgusting.
    Third, rumors about him and other women have circulated for years but Garn has had too many people in his pocket.
    He needed to resign.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 8:40 p.m.

    The brain doesn't fully develop until 25 years old. There are reasons we have laws to protect minors. Teenagers are minors. Garn should be prosecuted and sent to prison.

  • 7carcals
    March 13, 2010 8:09 p.m.

    Did you know right from wrong at 15 years old? Of course - and this pittiful woman did also. Now she needs excuses for all the stupid decisions she has made in her life. Further more she was hoping to extort more money.

    The senator was foolish to have become involved with a kid, but all of the accusations and defenses were carried out by mature adults. I can't defend the senator's actions 25 years ago, but what's he been doing since? I do have harsh admonition for the woman who can not forgive him and especially herself. Is not forgivness the premise of every faith excluding Islam?

  • Rush
    March 13, 2010 7:35 p.m.

    Just search "republican offenders"

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 7:32 p.m.

    I can't adequately express how deplorable this situation is. Garn should be in the depths of shame. Oddly though, I find it ironic that in photos he looks like a broken man and she smiles like she's on the cover of a magazine.

  • Ken
    March 13, 2010 7:08 p.m.

    Hey Mr. holier than thou. You must be one perfect son of a gun to through you're stones. Talk about hipocracy.

  • Ken
    March 13, 2010 7:03 p.m.

    We all make mistakes, Kevin made one twenty five years ago. I know this man, and I know why he gave Cheryl the money. Some people may not understand this, but I know it to be true. He made the payment to help her to get on with her life. How much therapy can you get with $150,000? I have a grandson that is fifteen. In one year, he has lost his mother, his dad remarried, his stepmom did not want him, and he had to move out of his home to live with grandparents. This fifteen year old is much better off than Cheryl. She gets paid that amount of money to help her, and now wants revenge and more money. How can a person be so obsessed with ruining a person’s life? If she would have used the money as it was intended, she would not be in this mental predicament. How many of us tell our spouses, family member, and church leaders of our transgressions? Then Kevin goes to this person’s home with his wife, meets with Cheryl and her husband to try to make amends. Look at the good Kevin has done.

  • cocomo
    March 13, 2010 5:18 p.m.

    Blackmail is not a recommendation for healing wounds of inappropriate sexual addvances. It seems to me that if Cheryl was really looking for sexual healing she would have reported a crime instead of compounding her "devastation" with a criminal act on her own.

  • anonymous
    March 13, 2010 5:17 p.m.

    can we all leave our egos aside for a moment-- men included-- Utahians have the highest egos in the world== who me?they say how about honesty, telling the truth, doing what is right from the beginning - not years later - plain and simple==

  • Adult and minor
    March 13, 2010 4:58 p.m.

    Any and all the comments that point the finger at Cheryl don't make sense to me. Laws, those made by legislators, protect minors. He knew this. I don't know if it was extortion. That is up to the courts. It could have been a contract. He didn't speak up for the sake of ethics. He spoke up to not have to pay out any more money.

  • Utah_Indie
    March 13, 2010 4:53 p.m.

    The FEC is worthless organization comprised of 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans. They only investigate the politically expendable and Garn is now in that club. Good luck Garn. See now how that party loyalty thingy works out for you. The only parting gift you will get is that standing ovation. Standing ovations won't keep you out of prison.

    How can anybody in good conscience have a temple recommend and affiliate with either party?

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 4:45 p.m.

    Everything he did was wrong I mean everything BUT it was 25 years ago. Right or Left he is human. I did not read it but what made her come out witht he news? Why now? Why not 5, 10 2 years ago?

  • Chuck
    March 13, 2010 4:05 p.m.


    You should try your hand at diplomacy. The State Department is looking for people just like you who can make make wide uneducated assertions about all the people in Utah and the Muslim world. Curios what you can tell us all about North Korea? You should write a book with all your experience with go ahead and say it "Mormons" and Muslims.

    Nobody should be impressed with either of these aforementioned individuals actions. Garn's actions from 25 years ago are inexcusable and Mahers present extortions are equally deplorable. If she wanted to set the record straight, she would not have accepted money in 2002.

    May God (or Allah) help them and forgive them both.

  • MIKE
    March 13, 2010 3:49 p.m.

    another ethic reforming politician caught with the package in his hand. GOP & DEM'S ALL THE SAME.Sad times for AMERICA

  • Jennie Richards
    March 13, 2010 3:48 p.m.

    As a former Sunday School teacher, I do see where Garn may have felt it was important to secure his standing in the Mormon community.

  • A. Bennion
    March 13, 2010 3:05 p.m.

    Wow, and ovation. Stay classy Utah.

  • To 2:02
    March 13, 2010 2:58 p.m.

    In your wildest and most bigoted dreams. She will survive all the hypocrites and liars. Garn was a man she was a child. Big difference. However, You are right though, because Utah, has little narrow-minded people smirking around in every corner.

  • Amazing
    March 13, 2010 2:57 p.m.

    I find several things amazing about this story:

    1) That she would bring it to light in a public setting. I applaud her for being brave enough to do that.

    2) That the legislature would applaud him when it's obvious he is still lying. Like someone else said: Who gets into a hot tub naked and doesn't have sex?

    3) That so many comments are attacking her. This article is about whether a prominent elected official was a sex abuser and is being truthful about it. She didn't need to tell me that he was lying--the chances of him going into a hot tub naked after drinking alcohol and not having sex are about 1 in 50 trillion.

  • Babs
    March 13, 2010 2:45 p.m.

    Garn owns two Spas. one in layton, not for from his office and one in midvale. Make you wonder what was going on there after hours.

  • just wondering
    March 13, 2010 2:02 p.m.

    I wasn't there so I don't know the mood of the situation but applause does seem highly inappropriate.

    And she may seem like an opportunist and a vindictive person now, but remember she was only 15. At that age it's all so new, so unexplored - a very impressionable age and he took advantage of that for his own gratification. The fact that they did not have sex may be just a matter of degrees. He is now in much pain and I hope he comes out the other side of this a better man - but her life is the tragedy.

  • The Cap
    March 13, 2010 2:02 p.m.

    Were all of you who are so willing to forgive Garn equally willing to forgive President Clinton?

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 2:02 p.m.

    I think she just wanted attention. Look at her picture. She made a mistake though because now that she's in the media and people are going to be pretty critical of her and I'm sure that's not going to help with all her drug and alcohol addictions. She'll just get more depressed and more messed up.

  • Applauding?
    March 13, 2010 2:01 p.m.

    I don't understand what the legislature was applauding?

    Garn's confession? That seems inappropriate.

    Clark's defense of Garn's character? Yes, people can change, but having not made amends for something like this speaks more to character than serving in the legislature. The applause seems inappropriate.

    Were they just relieved that he stepped down so they don't have to investigate?

    Really, it seems like a very strange, embarrassing, inappropriate reaction.

  • @ WHAT?? 12:36
    March 13, 2010 1:58 p.m.

    At the time she was a 4th grader, there would have been Sunday School for kids her age. That's not how it is now, but it was then.

  • Kevin
    March 13, 2010 1:47 p.m.

    Keep your chin up and ignore the holier than tho conservative hypocrites attacking you.

  • What a loser.
    March 13, 2010 1:46 p.m.

    This woman is just begging for attention. Her picture looks like the pictures teenage girls put on their facebooks. And she's 40. She needs to get the help she needs and stop whining. $150,000 was supposed to help and she mad a deal to drop the issue. I don't think he should get away with it but he's asked for forgivness from his family so it seems he's confronted the problem. If we continue to give her this attention she'll want more and end up on all those reality TV shows. Some people are so pathetic.

  • Steve
    March 13, 2010 1:38 p.m.

    As to the matter with Roman Polanski, he was caught and convicted. But then he ran when he saw he was going to have serious jail time.

  • Steve
    March 13, 2010 1:32 p.m.


    Even if they removed the statute of limitations, that can't be applied retroactively because of the Constitution's ex-post facto clause. They would have to go according to the laws on the books at the time it happened.

  • Im LDS too
    March 13, 2010 1:29 p.m.

    Garn went to talk to his bishop many years after going to hot tub naked just when he wanted to run for Congress. Sorry but I don't believe on his repentance. Garn was more interested in Congress than forgiveness.
    Garn did not admitted to the incident either. He was forced to admit after situation came out. All who are applauding him are HYPOCRITES like him.
    I am a latin LDS. We are tired we are fed up with your hypocrisy, racism and other American mormons of Utah. We are fed up with your republicanicracy. Then you pretend to teach us how to live sending, as missionaries, your sons and daughters to our countries and many time forced them because you will be ashamed if they don't go. Come on, they have a lot of work in Utah.

  • Linda
    March 13, 2010 1:23 p.m.

    I can count on a lot of stupid comments when I come to these news articles. We don't know the whole story yet. I will reserve judgment until I know all of the facts.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 12:51 p.m.

    Actually, Garn committed theft by extortion under U.C.A. 76-8-509

  • rebel8
    March 13, 2010 12:41 p.m.

    The comments under this article are really disturbing. Does your religion teach you minor victims are to blame for adult actions? Especially if they're female? That doesn't sound very Christian to me.

  • WHAT??
    March 13, 2010 12:36 p.m.

    The LDS Church doesn't have sunday school for 4th graders or 10 year olds. They don't go to Sunday school for a couple of years after that.

  • To 11:27
    March 13, 2010 12:31 p.m.

    You are a typical person from this part of the country. Bribes are bribes and tampering with evidence is never good.

  • What?!?!
    March 13, 2010 12:29 p.m.

    Okay, so she should be in just as much trouble for taking the hush money, as he is!!!!!

  • Utahprincipal801
    March 13, 2010 12:27 p.m.

    Right thing to do, Mr. Garn. Now, I would like to know if you faced church discipline at any point, or will now. As an active member of the LDS church, I am grateful you can now face the consequences of your actions. When we choose such behavior, we can't ignore having to face the consequences, which includes hurting those we truly love. I am sorry for you and your family, but I am also sorry you chose to run for public office, and paying blackmail to keep your past hidden. At least David Letterman came out publicly when blackmailed. This is a sorry tale that I hope teaches a lesson to public office holders and others serving in positions of trust. Forgiveness should not include a standing ovation, from associates, intimating public approval. Offering condolances is appropriate, but not applause. Trust will have to be earned again, Mr. Garn, especially since you served on the ethics committee, and refused to accept standards that so many of us expect, such as contained in the Ethics Initiative now seeking signatures.

  • A wyoming observer
    March 13, 2010 12:25 p.m.

    The is blackmail, pure and simple. Both knew what they were up to, pure and simple. At least in WY, we use sheep!

  • Matt
    March 13, 2010 12:08 p.m.

    On the topic of extortion, we can learn a lesson from David Letterman's recent scandal. By facing the allegations head-on and truthfully, the accused party can difuse the situation and willingly face any legal or social consequences. Instead, if the accused party pays "hush money" to the accuser, then the accuser will never be satisfied, and will always feel that the accused owes them something. Mr. Garn should have willingly faced the consequences to his actions in 2002 when Maher was attempting to extort money from him because of his actions. After all, $150,000 only lasts for so long, but the truth will last forever.

  • True Conservative
    March 13, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    If her charges are true, there are more victims out there. This story is not over, folks.

    And I will NEVER vote for any legislator who applauded for Garn.

    March 13, 2010 12:00 p.m.

    Leave GARN alone!

  • A few thoughts
    March 13, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    I believe in repentance and forgiveness, but we also must be careful. To forgive does not mean to just trust someone who has done something to limit his or her trust. Although I believe he can repent, that doesn't mean he should not be punished by the law. Nor does it mean he should be allowed to keep his seat in the house.

    Also, this is an example of why I now no longer call myself a "Republican". I now call myself a "conservative" instead. Although a few republicans are true conservative, there is a HUGE difference between the two terms now.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 11:27 a.m.

    I sure hope she gives back the money. Obviously she couldn't keep her part of the deal.. What does this say about her. At least show some integrity and giv e back the mkoney.

  • Harold
    March 13, 2010 11:19 a.m.

    Mr. Garn,
    Please just resign and spare our fine state the embarrassment.

  • Keep donating
    March 13, 2010 11:17 a.m.

    How much of the hush money came from campaign contributions? Of course in Utah you can use campaign money for anything - even hot tub encounters.

  • Hmmm
    March 13, 2010 11:04 a.m.

    As far as the people who always want to blame the young girl instead of the man who should have the maturity to know better in stories like these; perhaps they have a few skeletons in their closets.

  • Rudy
    March 13, 2010 10:59 a.m.

    Don't you wish there were cell phones a quarter of a century ago and used the way modern teens do? Then there would be no question about who is being totally truthful.

  • The usual
    March 13, 2010 10:50 a.m.

    Re: Anonymous | 8:49 p.m. March 12, 2010
    I believe Garn has spammed this web site saying lets just forgive him and forget it. I refuse to believe so many D News readers believe that he is fit to remain in office.

    From past news stories, anytime a man from Utah is accused of having inappropriate relations with a minor, there is always the chorus of "We shouldn't judge.", "It's the girl's fault.", etc.

    But anyone who is not male and from Utah who is accused of the same thing gets harsh judgment.

  • Resign
    March 13, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    Mr. Garn should resign immediately. To be forgiven of one's wrongs and by God and by others does not include taking away basic consequences. The good and honorable acts committed in his life do not take away from the monumental harm and destruction done by this selfish and wicked act.

    When you have a sexual relationship (naked = sexual) with a minor it is illegal. In my opinion people who break the law, and IN PARTICULAR those who commit sexual offenses against minors, should never be in public office, whether the offense occurred yesterday or 50 years ago. While we should forgive Mr. Garn, that does not mean his choice should be without appropriate consequence and in my opinion he should not represent the people of this state and he certainly should never have been given an ovation for his forced confession.

    Were he truly contrite, he would have come forward with this information prior to an election and allowed the public to make a decision given all the facts about his character and decision making abilities.

    My heart goes out to his victim, his family, and his constituents.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 10:07 a.m.

    @what's up with Layton7:34a.m.

    "He should do the right thing and step down."

    Did Bill Clinton step down?

    March 13, 2010 9:57 a.m.

    It was very dissappointing to see the Utah legislature stand and applaud Garn after hearing his story. Where do they get their ethics?

  • wrz
    March 13, 2010 9:49 a.m.


    ["He is the one who committed a crime and was never prosecuted."]

    When did it become a crime to get naked into a hot tub with a naked teen? His wife may have a legit beef but not the law.

    ["He's the one who paid the hush money."]

    She's the one who committed extortion. She should be in jail for it... and for failing to pay income taxes on the extorted money.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 9:47 a.m.

    Kevin Garn is the opportunist in the situation, not Cheryl Maher. She may have been wrong to take the money he offered to keep quiet, but according to the story she did not extort or ask for it. He only offered it up to save his own butt years after it happened! And for all you people condemming her here....SHE is the victim and Kevin Garn is the opportunist.

  • Disgusted
    March 13, 2010 9:46 a.m.

    Why did the Legislature give this clown a standing ovation! That is absurd and embarrassing. Were they celebrating his conduct, including his lies?

  • Scam Buster
    March 13, 2010 9:44 a.m.

    Why can't members of our legislature be held to the same high standard that is expected of public workers? If a teacher or policeman went "hot tubbing" with an underage minor (even 25 years earlier) and then paid hush money as a result, the teacher or policeman would face prosecution, forced resignation from public service, and castigation and condemnation that would no doubt lead to the legislature passing harsher punishments. Yet when one of our elected officials does this, they get an invite by Speaker of the House, David Clark to not resign and then leads the chamber in a round of thundering, standing applause. This is an outrageous and egregious example of corruption that is rampant at the highest levels of state government. One set of rules for them and another set of rules for everyone else.

  • Sam the Ham
    March 13, 2010 9:42 a.m.

    @I have 2 rules12:48p.m.:

    Rule #1 - Never go into a hot tub naked with someone when you are married (other than your spouse); and
    Rule #2 - Never go into a hot tub naked with someone who is a minor...NEVER!!"]

    Everybody's naked under their swim trucks... even in a hot tub.

    Advice to minors... never get into a hot tub with a married person.

  • Standing O
    March 13, 2010 9:42 a.m.

    So why did all his peers stand up and given him an ovation. Maybe it was the heat of the moment...but I hope most of them make a statement indicating they were wrong for doing so.

    As for Mr. Garn....come clean. Register on the sex-offender list and get some help.

  • Morality and Ethics
    March 13, 2010 9:40 a.m.

    I find it extremely sad and frightening that the legislature gave this man an ovation. Forgiveness comes from the Lord ultimately, and since he's LDS he need to seek the Church's forgiveness on this for his membership. Politically though he needs to be out of office and be honorable and resign and/or not run again. Funny how if this is an educator/teacher they would be dismissed, fired, and the DA would be seeking to see if charges can be brought up. A legislature in my opinion holds even a higher standard since they are the ones introducing and passing laws regarding the safe keeping of children. We all have our sins, but in this case, this man is unfit for public office. end of story.

  • @anonymous 7:09
    March 13, 2010 9:39 a.m.

    one thing for sure - she darned sure is no longer 15. He was wrong to begin with, power, position, advangate - all that is true. But years later you're telling me when someone, in a threatening manner, tries to extort money from a situation the extorter is doing nothing criminal?

    Get real!

  • wrz
    March 13, 2010 9:38 a.m.

    "Cheryl Maher said Friday that Utah House Majority Leader Kevin Garn is lying about having no physical contact with her when they went hot-tubbing in the nude when she was 15 years old."

    Yeah, they probably shook hands or played footsy in the hot tub.

    Look, there's a big difference between sexual contact and physical contact.

  • Re-read story
    March 13, 2010 9:28 a.m.

    Suggest many of the commenters here go back and re-read the story regarding his relationship with this CHILD. It is not about a single "incident" in a hot tub. Also note questions about the timing, source, and legality of the hush money.

  • St George
    March 13, 2010 9:17 a.m.

    Just resign and and it will all go away. We need moral and just men in the legislatur. Pleas go away.

  • Drummer
    March 13, 2010 9:07 a.m.

    This whole story is very disturbing. The thing that gave me chills when I saw the video of the confession in the house chamber last Thursday evening was the standing ovation he received from his peers. If they are really his "peers" we are really in trouble. Rep. Garn's behavior in this matter is disturbing. His legislative "peers" behavior is doubly disturbing, amazing and disappointing.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 9:01 a.m.

    Violating election laws is the least of this man's concerns. He should be more worried about being a registered sex offender. The WHOLE story is now bound to come out. What he has admitted to is strong enough evidence that he should be prosecuted for exposing himself to a minor.

    I was rather appauled to see our legislature rally around him. They should be condemning HIS ACTIONS, and respecting only that he is coming forward. Would he be coming forward unless this woman was saying things? He paid her years ago. He should have gone to jail and paid his debt to society back then. He should resign, go and serve his time behind bars like all other criminals, then come back and see if the public will vote him into office.

  • Dee
    March 13, 2010 9:00 a.m.

    Re: Dee

    You said: "Ok Dee make your case. If Garn never even touched the woman(at that time a teen girl) what justifies him being on the sex offender registry?"

    You're just amazing. Public indecency (no touching) with a minor is a Class I sex offense and requires registration on the sex offender registry.

    You folks, and the legislature, who act like this is no big deal are incredible. The dude got naked with a 15 YO girl!

    And by the way, Garn's insistence that nothing happened is about as believable as Clinton's "I didn't inhale."

  • does need
    March 13, 2010 8:55 a.m.

    to have touched her, he was naked in front of her, that is all Utah requires for someone to be listed as a sexual preditor and put on its manditory list. Exposure to a minor should put him in prison, but we will see if Utahns are smart enough to get this right. Lately, they can't even get a husband killing his wife right.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 8:43 a.m.

    Not everyone is perfect, obviously. I mean listen to all of you guys judging this story when most of you have not even met either person. The fact is, it happened 25 years, long before Rep. Garn was in politics. He broke the law, made a mistake, and now serves this county. He obviously isn't doing it for money because he has plenty. Why does everyone have to be so hard on politicans? He is human just like all of us, helping our country. Yes, if this happened now while he was in politics, then he should resign, but it happened 25 years ago! He is obvously doing a good job too, people voted him in and then other politicians voted him into leadership. Give the guy credit for the good he is doing!

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 8:33 a.m.

    This woman is obviously starving for attention. $150,000 is plenty of money to get counseling and move forward with life, but apparently she wanted more. Wow lady, it happened 25 years ago, GET OVER IT! Like I said before, you had plenty of money to get some good counseling, and apparently you didn't get it! Everyone makes bad choices, sometimes even horrible ones. That is why we are sent here is to learn and move on. Let this poor man move on with his life!

  • Proud Republican
    March 13, 2010 8:28 a.m.

    This is all Obama's fault! If you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic. It was a bad year for Republicans in Utah.

  • Dee
    March 13, 2010 8:10 a.m.

    To the guy who questioned my statement of: "The way to look at is this: Kevin Garn, touching or not, should have been on the sex offender registry".

    You are amazing. Public indecency (which requires no touching) in front of a minor is a Tier ! sex offense and requires registration on the sex offender registry.

    The dude got naked with a 15 YO girl! And the legislature, and folks like you want to act like it's nothing.

    And by the way, Garn's "nothing happened" is as believable as Clinton's "I didn't inhale."

  • If she's lying he's still bribes
    March 13, 2010 8:04 a.m.

    John Galt

    "Of course, I believe EVERYTHING she has to say. No WAY she would lie about anything that happened. "Let's just say he loves a massage". How about "let's just say you are lying". Just sayin'"

    This is what rape and molestation victims have to go through all the time. Constant accusations that they are lying and that if someone pays them $150,000 its not an admission of their guilt. If she is lying he had every opportunity to tell her to get lost and to take a hike and accept any investigations and news stories about her allegations and let investigators vindicate him but he chose not to do so but instead chose to pay her to keep quiet because she's telling the truth.

    Can you say that all those young boys who were molested by Catholic priests were lying?

    We know they are lying. We know it. So tell the truth or better yet take some money so you don't have to be put through the grinder by faithful Catholics or Mormon Republicans who will defend upstanding Catholic Priests or Mormon Republican legislators. At minimum he bribes people. That's ethical!

  • lreb
    March 13, 2010 8:00 a.m.

    Reading some of this is so surprising. Regardless of political party or religion what HE did was wrong. She was 15...he was her boss and her one time Sunday School teacher. Look at the two women teachers who were sexually involved with their jr. high student...was it the boys fault? Afterall it was consensual. That our legislature would react to his admission with thunderous applause and a standing ovation is frankly embarrassing. He should have been charged with a crime, and she with extortion.

  • Mother
    March 13, 2010 7:58 a.m.

    It doesn't matter what he is now, or what her intentions are now. The foundation of this whole thing is this man--who was old enough to know better--groomed and abused a minor. If he had any integrity he would have taken care of it in the beginning. He should have dropped out of the race instead of paying hush money. I am republican, I don't know the man, but his actions show me he should not be trusted. She is one of many young girls who have had their lives messed up at the hands of a selfish out of control man. What goes around comes around and it his turn to feel the pain.

  • Emjay
    March 13, 2010 7:56 a.m.

    What and IDIOT!!!! That's all I can say!

  • Cats
    March 13, 2010 7:55 a.m.

    If this is true, it's disgusting.

    I never cease to be amazed at how some individuals think they can actually run and be elected to public office when they have skeletons like this in their closets. WHAT WAS HE THINKING?

    I feel sorry for his family and the girl--that is, if it's true.

    If it is true, he deserves to have the full weight of the law and the Church Court come down on his head, big time.

    I fear we are becoming way too influenced by the world. DO YOU SEE WHERE IT GETS YOU, KEVIN?

  • what's up with Layton
    March 13, 2010 7:34 a.m.

    Killpack and Garn- two Layton peas in a totally corrupt and rotten pod. These idiots wanted Killpack toresign, just like they want Garn to stay.

    He sould do the right thing and step down.

    But he won't, because in legislative leadership, EGO trumps all.

  • Annonymous
    March 13, 2010 7:27 a.m.

    They both need help. She was 15 when this happened. He was someone in the church, an adult, a former Sunday school teacher, employer, and the one who may have been completely responsible for reaching out to this girl in an inappropriate and illegal way. He will need healing and forgiveness. If he did what he said he did, he made a big moral, ethical, and legal mistake. I think they call them predators today. She on the other hand was a "kid" who was taken advantage of by an "opportunistic" adult. Even though a lot of time has passed, it is possible that event affected the way she has lived her life since then. When a process doesn't work, don't you go back and try to figure out when things were going right, and then figure out where they started going wrong? This may be the story of her life. This experience could have made her feel "unworthy"of a better life, and so she has spent it trying to escape through her drugs, or maybe it forced her to "try to" grow up sooner, making even more mistakes. She needs help and healing also.

  • DeepintheHeart
    March 13, 2010 7:18 a.m.

    A person is not a registered sex offender until after they are convicted of a sexually-oriented crime. No charges were ever brought against Garn. The statute of limitations has certainly run out, so no charge could be brought now, or even as recently as 2002, in all likelihood. From a religious perspective, Garn should have confessed this and possibly other actions to his bishop. We have no evidence whether he did or did not. Ms. Maher says she has no knowledge of it. She says she has been excommunicated from the LDS Church for adultery unrelated to Garn. She says she has had emotional and drug problems over the years. It's hard to say when her emotional problems began, or whether they were in any way caused by this incident, which never should have happened. I have to think this brings Garn's political career to an end. It's up to him, his family, and his God to sort out any remaining culpability. Ms. Maher is an extortionist, and could be prosecuted, but she has her own demons to deal with. Just leave us out of it, okay?

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 7:09 a.m.

    i can't believe people on here are attacking the victim, WHO IS MAHER, NOT GARN! seriously, what is wrong with you people? sounds like your church needs to have a good long talk with you about what constitutes right and wrong.

    the ADULT MAN was hot-tubbing naked with a 15 yr ld GIRL. only in utah and fundamental Islamic society would this turn into "the girl's fault".

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 6:52 a.m.

    You couldn't make this stuff up.

    Politician admits he played in a hot tub with a 15 year old, then adds that he paid her $150k hush money, now she wants more money so she exposes him, then we find out the newspapers knew this eight years ago and kept quiet, now we find out that he probably broke election laws and the Legislature gave him a standing ovation...and he can't figure out whether he should resign or not????

    It's easy - he should resign, and so should every one of those dolts that applauded him. If for no other reason than that they all make us look like complete fools for allowing them to represent us and make our laws.

    Isn't there anyone with half a brain up on the hill?

  • So typical of the religious
    March 13, 2010 6:36 a.m.

    This is so typical of religious politicians!

    His wife and son sent emails urging her to be quiet?

    He was 28 and she was 15? I would call that rape!

  • Just the facts.
    March 13, 2010 6:33 a.m.

    She was 15, he was a 30 yr. old married man, her boss and in a position of religious influence. Sure she was infatuated with him, but he should have NEVER taken her to a spa! He committed a crime, period! I don't care about her checkered past, it is irrelavent to the crime that took place, THEN. He should resign NOW. He NEVER should have been elected to office. Let the courts and legal system decide about the money.

  • Both guilty...
    March 13, 2010 6:24 a.m.

    him of criminal stupidity with a minor, and her of extorting money and taking advantage of someone's stupid mistake.

    One might feel sorry for her but she accepted a large sum of money to buy her silence. But years later the original sum is still not enough - her attempts to get more money are criminal.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 6:09 a.m.

    I feel sick to my stomach looking at the picture of nearly everyone applauding him. For what? For showing the "courage" to confess? He was FORCED to confess because she was about to "out" him.

    No matter what really happened, no matter how this all plays out, the right thing to do is resign. NOW.

  • The Law
    March 13, 2010 6:03 a.m.

    Hasn't the statute of limitations ran out on this matter? Is there even a statute of limitations in Utah in regards to this? Can Garn still be punished? Before we all assume he will possibly be charged it would be helpful to know if he can be charged or not?

  • wondering
    March 13, 2010 5:53 a.m.

    I just wonder where her parents were through all of this since she said they had had a relationship for awhile. If a 15 year old daughter of mine was spending time with an older man I would have gone right to the police. Also why was this not reported to the police when it happened. There are some unanswered questions. I am not saying what he did was right, because it wasn't. But this needs to be looked into. He should have been punished back when it happened. Also she may have had all these problems when she was young. No one seems to know her background, as no one has checked her out thoroughly. I am sorry for everyone involved. This woman needs real help, something that $150,000 does not cure. Also by her picture she appears to be happy. That makes me question her stability. What is her reason for bringing this out now.

  • Applause?
    March 13, 2010 5:37 a.m.

    I was especially disturbed to see on the news the Utah Legislature applauding Mr. Garn for his confession. Some weren't, however. Good for them! That was clearly the right thing to do!

    I feel most sorry for Garn's wife! How much did she know? How much suffering has she endured over the years? She must have known if big money is going out the door!

  • Double Standard?
    March 13, 2010 5:24 a.m.

    It's funny that, around here, when a man makes a mistake we should forgive. But when a woman makes a mistake, she's just a terrible person.

  • cheap
    March 13, 2010 3:47 a.m.

    $150,000 in 2002? ..Republicans are cheap.

    Edwards, D-NC would have paid her millions or married her.

    And please don't ever tell Obama the number that comes after a trillion.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 3:42 a.m.

    Another one bites the dust...

  • HUH?
    March 13, 2010 3:40 a.m.

    HUH? "He wrapped me up and infected me." ?????
    WHAT does that mean???? Did she get an STD from this jerk?

  • ask a psychologist
    March 13, 2010 3:31 a.m.

    Repentance and forgiveness are not the problem. The problem is a young woman who was sexually abused by a trusted male adult. An entire life CAN be ruined, especially when she is left to flounder on her own. HE started her on her downward path. Her self-esteem, self worth, and views on morality have all been seriously affected/altered by a relationship with this married man. There are countless women whose lives have been irrevocably changed by sexual abuse. The men go on, repent, and are forgiven. But the young women are forgotten or told to "get over it." They often don’t get therapy to fully heal and sometimes make one bad choice after another. Brothers rape sisters and families act if the girl should just shrug it off and move on. Marriages without true physical bonding end in divorce because of sexual abuse in the wife's earlier life by step/fathers who are still married to and accepted by the mothers! No matter how penitent a person is, some things can never be put together again. His wife and children are innocent victims. There are no winners here.

  • Utah's turn
    March 13, 2010 3:10 a.m.

    Nevada has John Ensign and our Luv Gov Jim Gibbons.

    Republican idiots that say and supposedly believe one thing and do another.

    Idaho has Larry Craig the bible and floor thumper.

    Nevada did not applaud Ensign.
    Idaho did not applaud Craig.

    Utah, the state with the most morally upright state in the union, applauds Garn!


  • Ethics Reform
    March 13, 2010 1:51 a.m.

    First the drunk driver legislator and now the naked in the hot tub with a child legislator???

    It makes you wonder what other types of criminals we have representing us in the Utah legislature.

    I guess this explains why legislators do not want any ethics reform.

  • A Standing Ovation?
    March 13, 2010 1:39 a.m.

    What an indictment on those legislators!

  • Laughing out LOUD!
    March 13, 2010 1:31 a.m.

    Re: Dee | 1:07 p.m. March 12 | 8:11 p.m. March 12, 2010

    Ok Dee make your case. If Garn never even touched the woman(at that time a teen girl) what justifies him being on the sex offender registry?

    Buddy. Think about what you're saying here. You really think this guy picks up a 6-pack of beer, induces this girl to get naked in a hot tub with him, and then they just sit there and have a nice chat? Think about that for just a second.

  • Wow...
    March 13, 2010 1:19 a.m.

    Betcha those legislators who stood to applaud and support Mr. Garn will be backpedaling pretty fast once we learn more details about Mr. Garn's "indiscretion(s)." There seems to be a lot more to this story than a slip-up.

    And to the "Dear, dear Cheryl" letter writers, you must be Mr. Garn's PR team. Stop trying to smear a victim of sexual abuse. Shame!

  • Sick
    March 13, 2010 1:05 a.m.

    I cannot believe the excuses my fellow conservatives are making for Garn. Just because some Democrats have done the same or worse does not justify the behavior no matter how long it has been. The facts are: he had an inappropriate relationship with a minor, and he paid money to try and cover it up. Anyone who does these things is not fit for public office, whether they are Democrat or Republican.
    Cheryl made some comments that she was upset that she was excommunicated for an extra-marital affair but Garn wasn't. Unfortunately, there isn't much a bishop can do if the sinner doesn't come foward and confess. If he has evidence he can present it to the person, but if they do not confess, there is nothing he can do. Also, Church discipline is there to help someone along in the repentence process, not to punish.

  • Just Don't Understand It
    March 12, 2010 11:54 p.m.

    I am a republican and Latter-day Saint. But I believe this matter is independent of political party or religion. It's about judgement.

    What I can't understand is how certain politicians actually believe these things will never come out? Arrogance? Incompetence? Come on. You really believed the hush money meant it would never come out? That's a lack of judgement worthy of resignation in and of itself. And that's saying nothing of the original act of sexual abuse of a minor.

    Good grief. I'll take a replacement from either side of the isle who actually exercises good judgement.

    Oh, and speaking of good judgement, an ovation? Really? He (and she) needs your compassion but certainly not your applause. Embarrassing.

  • Neil
    March 12, 2010 11:27 p.m.

    If this ever went to court it would be he said she said. You could never prove anything other than voyuerism took place. Sad story.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 10:58 p.m.

    Resign Tomorrow.

  • HappyHeathen
    March 12, 2010 10:45 p.m.

    He should question about it.

  • Ernie
    March 12, 2010 10:22 p.m.

    why isn't anyone talking about the fact that a LDS bishop helped mediate extortion?

    I'm LDS and I'm pretty disgusted! Will the Deseret News even print my comment? We will see.

  • Sad
    March 12, 2010 10:21 p.m.

    A troubled woman
    A troubled man
    A troubling story

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 8:49 p.m.

    I believe Garn has spammed this web site saying lets just forgive him and forget it. I refuse to believe so many D News readers believe that he is fit to remain in office.

  • Re: Dee | 1:07 p.m. March 12
    March 12, 2010 8:11 p.m.

    "The way to look at is this: Kevin Garn, touching or not, should have been on the sex offender registry"

    Ok Dee make your case. If Garn never even touched the woman(at that time a teen girl) what justifies him being on the sex offender registry?

    From Maher's own quote you would be stretching it to file any charge that would result in mandatory SO registration.

    If he was a genuine sex abuse perpetrator, then let the man go to Court and pay for his crimes, but with the eveidence that is currently given, your comments have no merit or foundation other than political bias and bigotry.

  • Feed Up
    March 12, 2010 6:48 p.m.

    You can say what ever you want about Cheryl, but she is not a state senator (senate leader).
    It is a privilege to serve in the state government. Elected representatives should be held to a higher standard (like not getting naked with a 15yr old girl), just like police officers.

  • Utah Dem
    March 12, 2010 6:30 p.m.

    GoodGuyGary wrote - "The lady first blackmailed the guy decades after the incident, while she herself having a "pill porblem".(sic)

    As I read it no one said blackmail. She came forward when he attempted to run for Congress, he and his wife met with her and her LDS bishop (that from another article) and Garn offered the money. No one, even Garn has she that she asked for the money. She didn't turn the money down but she was also facing many personal problems in her life quite possibly from this relationship.

    And it truly doesn't matter what your political party affiliation is but it does matter what your personal character is. Garn's personal character, based on what we have been told thus far, is sleazy. He needs to be removed from office. I believe his fellow legislators are jerks for the standing ovation after making his partial confession.

  • Vlad
    March 12, 2010 6:09 p.m.

    Yeah he's a real upstanding man. First pays hush money just 8 short years ago then is given an ovation for getting out in front of this before she could . If she hadn't talked would he have done his tearful Mea Culpa last night ? I highly doubt it .

  • Reader
    March 12, 2010 5:54 p.m.

    Not surprising. When I first read about this, I didn't think Garn was telling the whole story. Based on the track record of a good portion of this characters in the Legislature, I believe little of anything they say.

  • Paul
    March 12, 2010 5:40 p.m.

    How did this story about Garn stay under wraps while the legislature is in session? Lack of transparency? Who's protecting Garn and why?

  • OldSchool
    March 12, 2010 5:08 p.m.

    A man from the less powerful social strata within our “zero tolerance” culture would have been jailed by now — labeled a sexual predator. Mr. Garn held positions of influence and authority over this young woman at the time of the incident, which indicates a level of force. Given that he was well into his adult years and she still a minor by several years, one should consider the issue one of statutory sexual assault. Look at the legions of such cases filed, and the “no mercy” prosecutions commonly executed on men of lesser stature. Garn’s socio-political stature, weath, and perhaps even religion appear to have given him immunity not available to most.
    Why are our lawmakers lining up for condolence photo ops with. For the rest of us, this would be a case of taking indecent liberties with a minor obstruction of justice, and blackmail.

  • re: re: the law
    March 12, 2010 4:52 p.m.

    You may be right. I am not a lawyer.
    My understanding is however that the statute of limitations starts when it is discovered or reported.
    If it was reported to law enforcement in the past, and they did not prosecute, I think the lady would have a case for a lawsuit.
    If it is just being discovered now, then they have 4-5 years to file charges.
    Should not be hard to prove, being that he stood up in front of 100+ witnesses (including I am sure several cops) and admitted it.
    If he can not be prosecuted,then it is a shame on our justice system.
    It is also a shame on all the legislators that voiced support for the man yesterday.
    The makers of the law, should not be the supporters of its violation.

  • Brian
    March 12, 2010 4:48 p.m.

    Why would I have believed Clinton when there was the stained blue dress?
    I believe the evidence and I believe that yelling "hypocrite" when a Republican does something wrong but silence when a Democrat (John Edwards, Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton) does something wrong implies that Democrats are not hypocrites because they have no morals to start with. Frog feathers! These actions are wrong regardless of political stripe. Innocent until proven guilty, like Clinton.

  • Who has the biggest problem?
    March 12, 2010 4:45 p.m.

    Whose soul is being cankered more? The two subjects of the story? Or all the judgmental posters who are so quick to vilify them?

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 4:44 p.m.

    Nice to see that the judges are out in full force...

  • Carole
    March 12, 2010 4:37 p.m.

    Sad story. When will we ever learn? Down with the dogs, up with the fleas. It's always worked to destroy families, it always will. Learn already. The costly price of sinful pleasure. Was it worth it?

  • to the perverts
    March 12, 2010 4:28 p.m.

    anybody who can defend a 28 year old getting naked with a 15 year old as anything but criminal, is a possible pedephile themselves. He should be in Jail.
    People who question her story should remember it was 150 thousand dollar story that kept him running for office instead of getting the beating he deserved at the point of the mountain. There is NO defense for this, and 28 is not a Youthful indiscretion. A picture of a naked 15 year old will get you room and board at the point.

  • re: the law
    March 12, 2010 4:22 p.m.

    The fact is that even IF a crime was committed, the statute of limitations has long since passed. That IS the law whether we agree with it or not.

  • Mark
    March 12, 2010 4:20 p.m.

    Why is everyone applauding this individual? I wonder if he would of kept this incident a secret if it did not surface?

  • John Galt
    March 12, 2010 4:20 p.m.

    Of course, I believe EVERYTHING she has to say. No WAY she would lie about anything that happened. "Let's just say he loves a massage". How about "let's just say you are lying". Just sayin'

  • mindnumbing
    March 12, 2010 4:19 p.m.

    This is not the first and won't be the last surprise we will hear from those we trust. I am sad for both parties. Here's a man who made a horrible mistake and a young woman taken advantage of!!! Is the moral of this don't run for political office or come clean before you do? I hope and pray everyone involved will heal and the community will allow healing. Think of both parties' immediate and extended families. There are definitely more victims then just Mr. Barns and Ms. Maher.

  • To Brian
    March 12, 2010 4:13 p.m.

    But didn't you believe Bill when he said "I did not have sexual relations with that woman"?

    Interesting story, interesting timing for Garn to reveal this "indiscretion," and plenty of blame to go around. Glad I don't have to deal with any of it. But in case you ask, I'd say he needs to resign.

  • They Can't Make this Stuff Up
    March 12, 2010 4:13 p.m.

    We blamed Clinton for Lewinsky (who was an adult at the time) but forgive Garn and blame Maher now. Is Utah popping pills? If your minor daughter was nude in the hot tub with her Sunday School teacher, how would you feel. No touching? Really?

  • Homer
    March 12, 2010 4:02 p.m.

    So many valid points back and forth, though in the end I think some very formal processes will sort this out. Possibly a House Ethics committee hearing, possibly court. Who knows.

    All of that aside a good defense attorney would jealously guard his clients image. The first thing he would do is tell her to take down the freakn web cam picture. It harms her image greatly!


  • i love
    March 12, 2010 4:00 p.m.

    these comments so funny as if they are going to change anyone's mind!

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

    Cheryl Maher looks downright giddy in her picture. Must have come back for a 2nd round of extortion money. Not saying that Garn didn't do something wrong...but let's be realistic about why this is coming out now after 25 years. Cheryl Maher is an opportunist. Period.

  • @I've messed up
    March 12, 2010 3:57 p.m.

    Perhaps if you had committed a CRIME against a teenage girl and not an affair with a consenting adult you should consider not running for office. The only thing you should consider at that point is how much longer do I have to sit in ths cell?

  • the law
    March 12, 2010 3:56 p.m.

    Does the law only apply to the poor?
    If Garn is not charged, then we need to let every sex offender who commited simular in prison go.
    Now I certainly do not want that to happen, so what needs to happen is he needs to go there and join them.
    Why would his wife let him around children knowing he is a pedophile?

  • MikeL.
    March 12, 2010 3:52 p.m.

    My childhood friend Kevin Garn should resign now NOW.

  • Connie
    March 12, 2010 3:48 p.m.

    So glad I do not live in Utah where there appears to be a lot of comfort in blaming the victim and using words such as "repentance" as a way to support an elected politician who has a WIFE!! I am wondering, has there been any discussion about his conduct with a young girl--also known as a minor? Will he have to register as a sex offender or has he REPENTED and everyone should look the other way? Are there others? He was this woman's Sunday School teacher and later her employer. Pre-meditated? Grooming her from a young age? A problem with power? This person needs to resign and needs to be investigated.

  • Doug G
    March 12, 2010 3:47 p.m.

    Buddy's busted. Doesn't matter his political stripe.

  • @Brian
    March 12, 2010 3:46 p.m.

    Quite an impressive list you have there. How many of those women were 14 or 15?

  • Rich12
    March 12, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    Do any of the people defending Garn have 15 year old daughters? He had been her Sunday School Teacher?

  • John Pack Lambert
    March 12, 2010 3:43 p.m.

    To the 12:48 commentator,
    I would say Never go into a hot tob at all if you are married with people of the opposite sex unless your spuse is there and never be alone in a hot tub with a minor.
    While violating these rules might not be immoral or criminal, it clearly is stupid. You just open yourself up to all sorts of accusations that you avoid by being in a more public situation.

  • she's not a mess
    March 12, 2010 3:41 p.m.

    she's a QT. i can see why a 28-year-old molly would fall for her at what was it? 14? oh, sorry. 15. yeah.

  • John Pack Lambert
    March 12, 2010 3:41 p.m.

    I am all for forgiving people for their actions, but they have to face the consequences. I see no evidence that Garn has ever faced consequences.
    Paying hush money to avoid more consequences is not restitution. Restitution would be paying money to help someone whose life you have destroyed AND openly revealing it to the public.

  • Sigh
    March 12, 2010 3:36 p.m.


  • John Pack Lambert
    March 12, 2010 3:34 p.m.

    Well, it appears that Garn admits he paid the hush money and that he was in the hot tub with a single 15-year-old as a 28-year-old man.
    I hope his Church leaders at the least discuss this issue with him. Depending on what all he did, and what was revealed in the past (including possibly having been disfellowshipped for it) there are different possibilities. However, at a bare minimum his Church leaders should at least consider how his paying the hush money affects the extent to which he is truly penitent.
    Somehow paying huge amounts of money to keep someone quite seems to be the total opposite of repentant behavior.

  • achick47 part two
    March 12, 2010 3:34 p.m.

    Now said "moral " girl has doped herself out of a marriage and money so she re-nigs and goes public because he will not give her more and more money. So tell me why I have the right to judge their past or decide which is the worst of two bad characters? Yes he is in politics and we voted for him. Has his voting record been bad? Will he now vote differently since we know he made a bad decision 25 years ago by paying her? Or when he let a tramp get him to go against his own morays?

  • uncannygunman
    March 12, 2010 3:32 p.m.

    Lots of mud here all around.

  • achick47
    March 12, 2010 3:32 p.m.

    Twenty five years ago a young girl decided she was in love with a married man. If her morals from her up bringing had been in place she knew what she was doing was wrong. He at twenty eight was an adult who also knew what he was doing was wrong. So post doing this wrong act he told his wife and Bishop and ask for forgiveness and repented. Then years later said "moral" girl decided hey! I can get rich off this guy now that he is in politics. So she confronts him with a Bishop in tow. He says OK I understand you want to seek medical help so I will give you $20,000. She instead says I will not go public if you give me $150,000. His wife and He think well it is better for our family if this stays private so we will pay.

  • The more I read...
    March 12, 2010 3:30 p.m.

    The less I believe nothing happened in that hot tub.

  • Ryan
    March 12, 2010 3:29 p.m.

    Check out the hot tub adds at the bottom of the page!

  • John Pack Lambert
    March 12, 2010 3:28 p.m.

    If Garn did these things he should be removed from the legislature, and probably excommunicated, and quite possibly face prison time for criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
    However, that is a big IF. Just because someone is accused does not mean they are guilty.

  • She sends in her own photo?
    March 12, 2010 3:25 p.m.

    First, I do not condone what Garn did.

    However, what is this woman's motivation? What can she gain from this, other than the satisfaction of taking this man down?

    Looks like she even sent in her own photo she's taken with a webcam, and smiling like she's just hunky dory. She's got issues.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 3:25 p.m.

    The nude hot tub parties with minors, the payoffs-these sound like the actions of a deeply unsavory character masquerading as an upstanding member of the community. Political views aside, this guy's constituents should have some serious reservations about him.

  • disgusted
    March 12, 2010 3:25 p.m.

    Do a quick search for "minor" on the deseret news front page. Look how many examples you find of someone having an improper relationship with a teen girl. Then look at the comments, they are night and day compared to this story.
    Double standards much?


    All these people are saying is that if you can get away with it for 25 years then you are a great person. Yay! standing ovation!

  • I've messed up
    March 12, 2010 3:22 p.m.

    So, I've messed up before. Perhaps not this far, in my opinion, but still, I was married, and it was, of course, with another consenting adult. Yes, I worked through it with my wife.

    Does that mean I can never run for public office? Have I forfeited any opportunity to be in the public eye?

  • Rich
    March 12, 2010 3:21 p.m.

    When I first heard the story, I told my wife that I doubted Garn when he said there had been no sexual contact. I find the woman to be incredible, but I suspect that she tells the truth when claiming physical contact between the two of them.

    Still, this woman should be prosecuted for blackmail. Garn should have gone to the police each and every time he was approached for money. He then could have recorded some conversations. He probably still feels guilty about what he did, however, and wishes to take responsibility for his actions rather than focus on retribution for the wrongs perpetuated by the young woman. I myself think that it should be possible to prosecute a blackmailer without telling the public the details of the extortion. Such trails should be closed to the public and sealed in order to encourage people to stand up to blackmailers.

  • Brian
    March 12, 2010 3:12 p.m.

    This is terrible, Hang the GOP! but Monica Lewinski was no problem, same with:
    Juanita Broaddrick (AR)- rape
    Eileen Wellstone (Oxford) - rape
    Elizabeth Ward Gracen - rape - quid pro quo, post incident intimidation
    Regina Hopper Blakely - "forced himself on her, biting, bruising her"
    Kathleen Willey (WH) - sexual assault, intimidations, threats
    Sandra Allen James (DC) - sexual assault
    22 Year Old 1972 (Yale) - sexual assault
    Kathy Bradshaw (AK) - sexual assault
    Cristy Zercher - unwelcomed sexual advance, intimidations
    Paula Jones (AR) - unwelcomed sexual advance, exposure, bordering on sexual assault
    Carolyn Moffet -unwelcomed sexual advance, exposure, bordering on sexual assaul

    Interesting how Democrats seeth with anger and hatred toward anything the GOP does but fellow Democrats always get a pass.

  • Tired of the lack of integrity
    March 12, 2010 3:11 p.m.

    Dear Mrs. Garn,
    I hope you take him to the cleaners and get on with your life. He is nothing but a low life; don't stand by your man - you are the only victim here and if you stay with him you are an idiot. My goodness money is wasted on the wealthy. Oh and if he had 150,000 disposable income 25 years ago just think what he has now!

  • Hypocrisy
    March 12, 2010 3:10 p.m.

    For those of you defending Kevin Garn, ask yourselves a few questions:

    #1 If it were a Democrat, would you still defend this man?
    #2 If Kevin Garn was just an ordinary joe sixpack, would you believe his version of the story?
    #3 Would you have the exact same sympathy for Kevin Garn if this woman was your daughter?

    Think about it. If you answer no to any of those questions up above, then why are your currently defending this man? Politics? To stick it to the Democrats? To show hypocrisy?

    Sorry Mr. Garn, the bell has tolled. You're done. Your political career is over, you no longer can be trusted.

    NO ONE. And I mean NO ONE, is above the law. Whether you're white, black, old, young, male, or female, what Kevin Garn did was foul and completely wrong. He needs to be tried as the criminal he is and should be run out of office.

    We need representatives that truly represent us, INCLUDING our values.

  • Hot tub obsession
    March 12, 2010 3:03 p.m.

    The commentators are obsessed with the hot tub incident, but the article is about the real issue and that is the ill-advised payment of money and what happened more recently. Garn should resign. He's much worse than a guy who had a moment where he exercised poor judgment.

    March 12, 2010 3:02 p.m.

    He is pathetic PERIOD the END. AND so is his wife for supporting it! AND the legislature is just as classless as he is... A standing O... Give me a break guys seriously! Pathetic... Simply pathetic!!!

  • Scott
    March 12, 2010 3:01 p.m.

    He was 28, that is almost 30, probably married with kids. She was 15. They were in a hot tub, naked. According to her, he did touch her, he massaged her. Did anyone know that Garn subsequently graduated from the Utah College of Massage Therapy, though he does not have a college degree. He was her (former?) LDS Sunday School teacher and her employer. She had a crush on him. He took advantage of her.

    Think about the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, many instances of abuse consist of no more than what is described here, like those incidents disclosed by former U.S. Rep Mark Foley. They are wrong! They are illegal, felonious! She reported this to Church leaders, who did nothing, not even notifying the police. He would have been arrested, charged, and since we know by his admission that he was at least in the hot tub naked with her, likely convicted. Today he would be a sex offender. How many tough sex offender has this sex offender voted for? Garn is the extortionist. It is really horrible to report this story like it's no big deal because happened 25 yrs ago.

  • Won't politicians ever learn?
    March 12, 2010 2:59 p.m.

    Hiding your transgressions is so much worse than the transgression.

    Sorry, Kevin, you don't get to wait for years and years and then pretend you're being honest.

    But at least you make Bill Clinton look moral.

  • Shes a mess and he is not
    March 12, 2010 2:50 p.m.

    He made a mistake back then. He made his wife and faily aware of it and appears to want to move on.

    The pill popper who got X'ed for cheating on her husband has run out of cash and tried again.

    She is ticked off she can't get any more for her habit. Clearly a vindictive approach.

    At this point is there anything he is doing to perpetuate the problem.

    Clearly his error to begin with but since then he has done about alll he could do to make it right.

    This girl has "ISSUES" stamped all over her forehead and her behavior shows it.

  • I totally believe Garn that
    March 12, 2010 2:50 p.m.

    he just sat there with a naked 15 year old girl.

    After all, he cried when he told his story...

  • Endless Republican
    March 12, 2010 2:49 p.m.

    sex scandals...

    when will it end?

  • It's Dawning On Them
    March 12, 2010 2:47 p.m.

    I think some of the CONservatives are starting to realize that maybe they shouldn't have lionized and defended this clown. They're just a tad slow on this kind of stuff (see Larry Craig, Trent Lott, Mark Foley, Mark Sanford, John Ensign, etc), but I sense that some folks are starting to think "Oh, wait....this is actually embarrassing. He's technically a sex offender and we all ran over and embraced him like a hero."

    (slap to forehead)

  • dabast
    March 12, 2010 2:45 p.m.

    It's not about Republican vs. Democrats in scandal counts. It's about a person who places themselves on a moral high horse and then falls. Most readers of the DNews would find me a very immoral person, but I'm not trying to pass laws about who can sleep with who. Republicans often are and that is why, when they turn about to be just like the rest of us, it stands out in our minds.

  • Murphy
    March 12, 2010 2:43 p.m.

    This isn't about which party has the most sex scandals-seems to me they're all running around doing what they're not supposed to.

    Forget the party, what's bothersome in this case is that he had sex with a 15 year old when he was 30. He was married, old enough to know better, & here he has this little 15 year old, high school love sick puppy who has a crush on him & he acts on it?

    There's a reason there is a law called statutory rape & I don't care if it was 25 years ago or 25 minutes ago, can anyone guarantee that this hasn't happened before or since then? It was horrendous enough to send her over the edge.

    And BTW the hush money was HIS ATTORNEY'S idea, so if she ever decided to tell what really happened he'd yell extortion. What kind of a low life attorney, an officer of the court, tries to hide a sex crime w/a minor by bribing her?

  • Wright
    March 12, 2010 2:40 p.m.

    It dosen't matter that he was high up in the church because as Glenn Beck explained churchs should not be involved in social justice. And he is active, and she is excomunicated, so the whole thing should be dropped and she needs to give the money back.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 2:40 p.m.

    Forget about this man for a second, and look up at the picture of his wife... She looks truly devastated.

    Look at her face and imagine she was your wife, sister, mother or even yourself standing where she stands. Tough shoes to be in. So painful looking that I wouldn't want to wish this on my worst enemy.

    Well, my thoughts and prayers are with her and her family and I hope she can pull a Jenny Sanford or better yet, a Hillary Clinton, and get through this heartache.

  • crime
    March 12, 2010 2:34 p.m.

    This was not an affair, it was a crime.
    An affair would require two consenting adults
    This child could not consent
    There are men in prison right now for this sort of thing.
    How is that he has never been charged?
    Was it reported?
    The statute of limitations starts when it is discovered/reported to the police.
    Right now Roman Polanski is sitting on house arrest waiting to come back to the US for the same sort of thing.
    I certainly understand that affairs happen, and no one is perfect.
    However this is an entirely different thing all together.
    It appears that his behavior has seriously damaged this woman.
    The money he paid out, although wrong by both Kevin and the woman.
    I put 99% of the blame on Kevin
    He created the problem when he messed her up mentally in the hot tub.
    You can not pay some money and think that clears you from the legal consequences of sexual behavior with a minor.

  • Please!
    March 12, 2010 2:34 p.m.

    She was only 15 years old. Then they went to her LDS Bishop and he didn't report this crime to the authorities, (Police)?

    Is this guy so powerful that he gets to keep serving good honest citizens?

    I think he should have his name listed on the National sex predator list.

  • Garn's age
    March 12, 2010 2:32 p.m.

    Actually he was born in 1955, so he was 47 when he paid her off.

    And according to the reports, of this happened in 1985, he was a 30 year old man.

  • Garn gets a standing
    March 12, 2010 2:28 p.m.

    ovation, and hugs all around, from the state legislature after bearing his testimony in this.

    What does this tell you?

    It tells me that he would get re-elected in a heartbeat, if his opponent were a Democrat.

  • JH
    March 12, 2010 2:22 p.m.

    Live your life as though your actions may some day come back and bite you in the rear end. It is that simple.

  • Sinless?
    March 12, 2010 2:20 p.m.

    He (or she) who is without sin, let him (or her) cast the first stone - at either party involved.

  • Lee
    March 12, 2010 2:20 p.m.

    Was she 14 or 15? I guess it doesn't matter, because in either case she's a minor and he's a 30-year old married father and also her boss. It sounds like this incident was devastating to her life so far. Why are most people trying to attack the victim here? A woman claiming to be the victims sister alleges that there was at least one other teenage victim. Did that victim receive a similar payout?

    I'm shocked that Garn was called as a Bishop. Wouldn't his membership record be tagged with a note that he had confessed to a sexual deviance with a minor? I also wonder how much the Deseret News knew back in 2002 and why nothing was mentioned when Garn announced he was running again in 2006 and intended to become the speaker of the House?

  • Stunned
    March 12, 2010 2:18 p.m.

    As a non-native living in Utah, I'm stunned by many of these comments. 30 year old man in hot tub nude with 15 year old girl. That's a crime regardless of when it happened! Where are the family values and morals this state is supposed to represent?

    This from the SL Trib: "After Garn publicly acknowledged the incident and payments to Maher, Clark praised his colleague. I know not of the man you speak of, but I know the man I consider a friend, a leader and an asset to the State of Utah and I would ask our fellow colleagues that our hearts might be open," Clark said. "We hope you would remain with us," Clark said, to a standing ovation from the representatives and applause and shouts from those in the gallery. Afterward, dozens of lawmakers lined up to embrace Garn, his wife and various family members."


  • ButtaFace
    March 12, 2010 2:14 p.m.

    He's got that Utah Toad look. Like the manager at Walmart, or some assistant boys' dean at a high school. I'm guessing he would use any power or authority he could summon to get a young girl naked, even now. Balding toad.

  • Dude
    March 12, 2010 2:13 p.m.

    What's the big deal? Everybody in D.C. has something to hide. They're all pigs filled with greed and self absorption.

  • VFW Dude
    March 12, 2010 2:12 p.m.

    Mr. Garn should step down. We should eliminate such titles of nobility as 'Majority Leader' by removing party caucuses from inside legislative branches so we are not confused into thinking these folks are leaders. They are public servants, humans, flawed and we must stop doing more than electing representatives every two years that will represent only. End majority/minority traditions inside because it is not necessary to operate our legislature.

    Mr. Garn and Ms. Mahers have some challenges to work out, preferrably not in the public eye. The victim in all this today is the public who simply need representatives to deal with the issues we must have dealt with and then go back to civilian life. Instead we get 'leaders' like Mr. Garn. The victim 25 years ago was Ms. Mahers. There is no rationalization that can make it Mr. Garn as the victim of anything beyond the greed of Ms. Mahers' husband if the report is at all accurate(of course the report called him 'minority' leader so who knows). Politics is dirty, this is yet another example...are there any statesmen in Utah?

  • irate
    March 12, 2010 2:11 p.m.

    Keep your clothes on and keep your affections to your wife Mr. Hypocrite! You deserve what's happening to you. I just feel sorry for your poor wife. She deserves so much better than you. So does the state. So do youth who believe their Sunday School teachers practice what they preach. Shame on you Kevin Garn! Perhaps maybe you should be excommunicated as well.

  • Amazed
    March 12, 2010 2:11 p.m.

    Just to clear up a few things

    1. Kevin Garn was not a politician at 28 - he was obviously an out-of-control 20 something male...lots of those around but it still doesn't make it right

    2. He should not have been in the hot tub with a 15 year old young lady, whether he was 15, 20, 30 or 50 years old himself.

    3. If he did not have sex with the young lady, that is not rape...whatever he did was still wrong, wrong, wrong!

    4. Should he resign? It would probably be the best thing all the way around for Ms. Maher, Mr. Garn's family, Mr. Garn and his constituents

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 2:03 p.m.

    If this was someone other than an elected official he would be sitting in a jail cell right now. If he being her boss and former sunday school teacher, as well as her being three years under the legal age of consent, went into a hot tub with her, he should be on the Utah Sex Offenders Website for the rest of his life.

  • Whew!
    March 12, 2010 2:03 p.m.

    Glad I don’t live in Utah. Half the population consists of self-righteous judges. Both parties in this mess should be accountable before the law. The rest of you should stand back, take a deep breath and be danged grateful you’re perfect.

  • Sara Bee
    March 12, 2010 2:01 p.m.

    Democrats do worse? Worse than nude hot tub massage of a 15 year old, by a 28 year old? Worse than taking advantage of a child who had every reason to think her Sunday School teacher wouldn't do anything so wrong?

    Clinton, Edwards and Massa were creepy, but their 'victims' were adults.

    No political party, no religion, no nation has a monopoly on virtue or on vice. Vice, when it breaks law, must be handled by our justice system. Our justice system is notoriously unsympathetic with child abusers, as it should be. Garn must stand at the bar of justice.

  • E
    March 12, 2010 2:00 p.m.

    didnt realize cheryl was also the son's babysitter.. even creepier

  • Deomocarts do worse than this?
    March 12, 2010 2:00 p.m.

    Really? When Democrats do bad things, Gayle Ruzicka is out with the villagers carrying torches. Wanna bet this fool will get reelected? I have never sat in a hot tub naked with anyone, especially not an employee who as significantly younger, and he was married to boot.

    March 12, 2010 1:58 p.m.

    So, is Garn the minority leader or the majority leader? The article seems to have it both ways.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 1:56 p.m.

    Wow, who knew we live in South Carolina?

    I am bothered than the Des News hushed it up because it might influence the election. Hello! This is the stuff we should know about BEFORE electing someone. The good old boys protecting each other.

  • Comment to LCP
    March 12, 2010 1:55 p.m.

    Kevin Garn paid the $150,000 in 2002, which would have made him 45 years of age at that time and not 28.

    There are no winners in this sad story...

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 1:51 p.m.

    RIGHT ARM!!!

    Being LDS and conservative, I'm surprised at the number of people saying to forget it or are shouting "The Demos are just as bad". Sure, I can forgive him, but that doesn't mean I have to support him as my representative. Sometimes you need to just say things out loud. "A married man naked in a hot tub with a 15-year old girl, physical contact and doing everything he can to cover it up and keep his standing in the church and community". No sir, he doesn't represent me.

  • nash
    March 12, 2010 1:50 p.m.


    You misunderstood. He did not give her the 150K when he was 28. He gave that to her in 2002. Just thought I would clear that up.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 1:49 p.m.

    Typical repressed Republican pervert acting out with children

  • Observation
    March 12, 2010 1:48 p.m.

    Appears Maher has certinaly had some problems and far from being the best charater witness...but...

    If sex took place , isn't that Statutory Rape? What's the difference in this case and the Roman Polanski case, where a similar incident took place.

    Isn't it a bit absurd to call it a " Indiscretion that took place a long time ago". A indiscretion would be having a affair outside of your marriage with an adult, not sex with a 15 year old when you are 30. Sounds like a pretty serious
    " indescretion"!

  • Question:
    March 12, 2010 1:46 p.m.

    Does the church have a penalty for this kind of behavior or is there a statute of limitations.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 1:44 p.m.

    Capital felony, murder, manslaughter, none; other felony or negligent homicide: 4 yrs.; fraud or breach of fiduciary obligation, official misconduct: 3 yrs. max.; rape, sodomy, or sexual abuse of a child: within 4 yrs. of reporting offense; child abuse homicide, aggravated kidnapping, child kidnapping: none; violent felony: none if identity of perpetrator unknown but DNA evidence is collected and would identify the person at a later date (does not apply if statute of limitations has run as of May 5, 2003 without changes filed), once identification made, within one year if statute of limitations has run; misuse of public monies, falsification or alteration of public records, bribery: 2 yrs. after facts reported to prosecutor.


  • Did He Really Say That?
    March 12, 2010 1:44 p.m.

    "I did not want to be publicly judged by one of my life's worst decisions."

    One of them? Holy cow!

    And all the defenders saying "C'mon, we've all done stuff with naked underage girls.....just forget about it. Why should it ruin his career and marriage?"

    You folks are quite possibly crazy. No. Really.

  • larry
    March 12, 2010 1:43 p.m.

    He was an adult. He was her employer. He was her sunday school teacher. She may be crazy but if he were caught doing this today. He'd be a convicted felon.

  • J from SLC
    March 12, 2010 1:43 p.m.

    She voided the contract. Does he get his money back?

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 1:42 p.m.

    Lies eventually have a way of unraveling themselves. He might as well 'spill the beans' now instead of having it come out by piecemeal.

    I wonder what this ladies life, and if she would have ever been excommunicated, etc..., could of been like if it wasn't for the actions of this man.

  • Lumps
    March 12, 2010 1:42 p.m.

    There's plenty of sleeze to go around (regardless of pary). Garn for getting naked and hopping in the tub with a teen (even if she thought she was in love with him, what was *his* motive?), Garn again, for reporting he never touched her (uh sure, that makes sense. He lacked judgment hopping into the tub naked but suddenly has enough sense not to touch...what? he just enjoyed the view?...sure, right). Garn again for burying it to avoid taking any responsibility. Maher for blackmailing Garn in order to *heal* (I doubt she spent the money on badly needed therapy...after all her husband needs money too!)
    Maybe Garn can claim being a school teacher or lunch lady and get a slap on the wrist like most female perpertators.
    Democrats do worse? When it comes to keeping their pants up, politicians in general lack integrity, self-control (free money anyone?) and require immediate gratification (hands off the teen pages male or female). In the meantime, the country loses its freedoms one executive order at a time. It's all quite pathetic really.

  • kge
    March 12, 2010 1:42 p.m.

    Politicians -- Liars AA has a meeting on the Hill tomorrow ... ALL Attend!

  • Kathy in Florida
    March 12, 2010 1:41 p.m.

    He was 28, she was 15. He was her boss. He, according to the law, sexually harassed a minor. Nobody gets into a hot tub naked with another person and does nothing. He is disgusting. He needs to be put in the sexual offender database.

  • Observer
    March 12, 2010 1:40 p.m.

    The Mormon culture seems to amp the comments here much like Islamic culture in the Mid East. In my opinion Garn is a creep and desperate, which is NOT a partisian characteristic but a lack of character. Not being the Lord Jesus Christ I can't judge him, but I wouldn't want him representing me.

  • Guest
    March 12, 2010 1:39 p.m.

    It appears to me he has admitted to this. SO..he needs to be charged because he committed a crime and if convicted, then immediately registered as a sex offender! NOBODY is above the law.

  • RichM
    March 12, 2010 1:37 p.m.

    Did the Mahers claim the $150K on their 2002 Fed Taxes? They just may be in some real deep IRS trouble if they didn't. Unless of course they are in like with Tim Geithner or Charlie Rangel and in that case, I guess they'll be ready for gov't appointments.

  • Larry
    March 12, 2010 1:36 p.m.

    Sounds pretty juicy...

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 1:36 p.m.

    RE: Dave in FL

    Well done. Couldn't have said it better myself.

  • Motto of the day
    March 12, 2010 1:35 p.m.

    "Hit it, Hide it, Deny it."

  • Let him Stay in office
    March 12, 2010 1:31 p.m.

    Happened a long time ago, he is sorry. I have tons of sins too, i would want others to forgive me...

    give me a break!!

  • Garn was her employer
    March 12, 2010 1:31 p.m.

    He can call it extorition, but that doesn't make it so. He was her employer. She was a minor. It is a classic case of power and coersion. She had cause for a tort action, but they came to a settlement prior to filing suit. What is telling is that in his mind it was extortion and hush money, not settlement of a legal action. His judgement is very bad indeed and based on his statement of events it hasn't gotten better with time.

  • Holier than thou
    March 12, 2010 1:31 p.m.

    Kevin dude, the veil is lifted. You're not so lilly white after all. Get off your high horse and join the unwashed masses. OK, enough metaphors. It sure it nice to see another right winger drown in their own hypocracy.

  • Spanish Fork
    March 12, 2010 1:29 p.m.

    I'm rather tired of having everybody's dirty laundry shoved in my face every time I read the news. Maybe it's time to stop reading th news all together and being highly selective about what i watch on TV news! I'll include all the worthless comments as well!

  • KEEL
    March 12, 2010 1:29 p.m.

    This is all so one sided and sexist that it could only happen in Utah or a Muslim state.

  • Conservative
    March 12, 2010 1:26 p.m.

    Being LDS and conservative, I'm surprised at the number of people saying to forget it or are shouting "The Demos are just as bad". Sure, I can forgive him, but that doesn't mean I have to support him as my representative. Sometimes you need to just say things out loud. "A married man naked in a hot tub with a 15-year old girl, physical contact and doing everything he can to cover it up and keep his standing in the church and community". No sir, he doesn't represent me.

  • Felony
    March 12, 2010 1:26 p.m.

    Sounds like one and the legislature removed any statute of limitations.

  • mashugah
    March 12, 2010 1:26 p.m.

    Boys and Girls, it's called statutory rape. She was 15 he was a grown, married politician. Young girls are impressionable and people in authority are oftimes attractive. Political parties aside, this guy is trouble and he will get his just due.
    Why oh why do we have to reduce really bad things down to political parties? Stop supporting these
    people, they don't need or want or value your support. What do you think they think of you? Huh? Look at his wife's face in the photo. Tears, hurt, embarrassment, humiliation and oh, he loves her and is so sorry for his "indiscretion". And that business of "democrats do worse", what BS, rape is rape and lies are lies and fools remain fools.

  • Why is this important now?
    March 12, 2010 1:25 p.m.

    Man, must have been a heck of a massage to have cost him $150,000 and his political career.

    What I don't understand is this: The guy was in a hot tub with a minor and presumably, not even allegedly, something happened. Don't know that the statute of limitatins is in Utah for statutary rape, or gross imposition or any other potentially applicable charge, however, I would assume, based upon other jurisdictions, that statute of limitation is probably less than 25 years. That being the case, why the heck are we putting this guy through this?

  • Dixie Dan
    March 12, 2010 1:24 p.m.

    "Democrats do worse than this..." Yup and so do Republicans, Independents, Socialist, Communist, Marxist, Christians and even Mormons. As for running the country into a Socialist country, it is too late for that as Bush did this with all of his policies, ie. T.A.R.P and Medicare Part D.

  • MWR
    March 12, 2010 1:23 p.m.

    @Democrats do worse: Any person who identifies themself as a party member is a Traitor to America. Your post slamming Dems, probably means your a Repub- Guess what - both (ALL)parties should be tried for treason. So why not treat this correctly. Garn deserves everything he gets and Maher is no victom at this stage of the game. 150K and 25 years - get real.

  • Cactus Thorns
    March 12, 2010 1:23 p.m.

    "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." John 8:7

    It seems that the fellow has spent a lot of his time and his life repenting for his sin.

    There seems to be those who believe that once a sinner always a sinner.

    We know that can't be so. Everyone, even you and I have the chance for redemption, both biblically and secularly, otherwise what is the use in doing good works? Why even try?

    This might be the dumbest story I've ever read.

  • Almo
    March 12, 2010 1:23 p.m.

    The guy gave a 15 year old a massage in a hot tub. He was here former Sunday School teacher. Have some of you missed that part?

  • steve
    March 12, 2010 1:23 p.m.

    Bad judgment? he should be prosecuted for statutory rape.If there is evidence that other people in position of power knew of this violation they also should be prosecuted.No one pays $150,000 to cover a hot-tub massage.I believe that he should be made an example of and sent to prison,we have a obligation to protect underage girls from lecherous men.This man is a pervert and should be treated as such.

  • outagous
    March 12, 2010 1:22 p.m.

    yes the IRS should go after her for unreported income and him for 140000 over the 10000 gift tax limit. That would help the deficit if we did that for all these people. John Edward, Trent Lott, Bloggo, Charlie Rengle, Eric Massel just to name a few.

  • Wow...
    March 12, 2010 1:22 p.m.

    And I thought YouTube comments were inane... You people who are trying to politicize this idiot's obviously lack of morals and sound judgement are just plain stupid.

  • ex-utah native
    March 12, 2010 1:21 p.m.

    That woman is an adultress and extortionist. She should go to jail for blackmail. What a horrible person. Let's just hope she's still excommunicated for trying to ruin someone's life 25 years later. Will she ever go away? Trashy ilk like her usually remain around like sludge stuck in your engine causing more trouble....

  • Don't forget the victim
    March 12, 2010 1:20 p.m.

    To all those individuals dragging this woman through the mud - pointing out her troubled past - I ask if it isn't possible that the guilt she carried from this experience could have led her down that path?

    Imagine the feelings of this poor young girl sitting through her Sunday meetings listening to lessons about modesty and sexual purity.

    I doubt that a 14 or 15-year-old girl have had much of a checkered past up to this point. She was likely flattered that an older man found her attractive. Do we appreciate how confusing teenage years are for girls?

    She wasn't even old enough to drive. Don't portray a kid as a temptress. She was a kid!

  • dave in FL
    March 12, 2010 1:19 p.m.

    How much corruption and scandal do politicians think they can get away with? I know they are human, but they should strive to set a positive moral and ethical example in the position they have been fortunate enough to obtain. No one is perfect of course, but be a man and admit your mistakes, ask forgiveness, and move on. You would gain more respect in the long run that way, but of course they are only thinking in the short term and protecting their positions. We need a change in the way leadership governs us. It has strayed too far from what the founding fathers had in mind in my opinion. I'm not sure what the solution is, but it would be nice for someone smarter than me to suggest possible solutions. Thank you.

  • Ron Geram
    March 12, 2010 1:18 p.m.

    Another pious hypocrite in the land of Zion--so where is the news in this?

  • LCP
    March 12, 2010 1:17 p.m.

    Kevin Garn may still be understating what took place in that hot tub. And, it makes one wonder - where does a 28 year old get $150,000. It is clear to me that Kevin Garn lives a very priveleged life and may be out of touch with reality. He also probably feels very entitled. Not good attributes for a representative of everyday people. I don't think he can relate to the people he is supposed to represent.

  • Cover up
    March 12, 2010 1:17 p.m.

    Why did this paper cover up? This was the majority leader. Anyone that hushed this up had an inside track on favorable legislation.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 1:16 p.m.

    Sounds like this messed up pill popper wants to blame someone else for her screwed up life. She willingly got into the hot tub with him. Sounds like she's never had strong morals and doesn't have any now either. He shouldn't have gotten into the tub naked, but I don't think that is why her life and marriage are so screwed up.

  • MOVE ON!!
    March 12, 2010 1:15 p.m.

    This all happened a long time ago. I don't see any need to drag him or her through it now. MOVE ON!!

  • PP
    March 12, 2010 1:14 p.m.

    People make mistakes. The real question is how has he lived his life since then.

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 1:13 p.m.

    Sorry but I am laughing.

  • The Bard
    March 12, 2010 1:12 p.m.

    "The evil that men do lives after them!"

    Who is lyning now?

  • Okay, Cheryl . . .
    March 12, 2010 1:12 p.m.

    Let's look at some the comments here, shall we?

    "Maher was hesitant to give her own version of events when she spoke to City Weekly but said, 'Let's just say this. He really loves to massage.'"

    Side-stepping because you REALLY won't take the chance of saying what really happened? Because nothing really did?

    "I was in love with him . . ."

    A teenage infatuation which usually leads to "romantic illusions" later on about what really happened.

    ". . . she was excommunicated by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a few years ago for an extramarital affair."

    Well, THAT says a lot about trustworthiness of character, doesn't it?

    " . . . (she) was at the time a self-described mess with a pill problem."

    This just gets better and better. We're supposed to believe anything this person has to say?

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 1:11 p.m.

    28 years old. 15 years old. Creepy

  • Mike
    March 12, 2010 1:11 p.m.

    Kevin Garn must resign from the State House. If the Statute of Limitations had not run out, he could very easily have been charged with statutory rape,or at the very least contributing to the deliquency of a minor. Mr. Garn, you must resign now.

  • Um, DesNews? There you go again.
    March 12, 2010 1:10 p.m.

    "City Weekly reported on Friday that Cheryl Maher told it that Garn – who is now the Utah House minority leader - ..."

    Garn is the MAJORITY leader. He is a Republican. Please, don't blame this on the other party.

  • Granny
    March 12, 2010 1:10 p.m.

    Repentant or not, Garn should resign. He took sexual advantage of a minor and hid it until he was forced to confess in public. He didn't voluntarily reveal any of this.

    They should both be prosecuted, she for extortion, and he for blackmail and sex abuse of a minor.

  • Smartguy
    March 12, 2010 1:09 p.m.

    There has to be more to this story. Who gets naked in a hot tube and doesn't have sex?

  • steve
    March 12, 2010 1:08 p.m.

    If I had that kind of money, I'd pay MY wife to keep quiet too!

  • IRS
    March 12, 2010 1:08 p.m.

    I wonder if she declared the extortion money to the IRS?

  • Dee
    March 12, 2010 1:07 p.m.

    The way to look at is this: Kevin Garn, touching or not, should have been on the sex offender registry. And for that, his colleagues in the legislature gave him a stand O. Shameful.

  • Election Laws
    March 12, 2010 1:07 p.m.

    "..he may have violated election laws..."

    How about the fact that he was in a hot tub with a young girl? I would think that should be the main store and the election law should be the least of our concern.

    But the again, both crimes have passed the statute of limitations.

  • to Bruce:
    March 12, 2010 1:06 p.m.

    settlements are not typically tax-able. They are sometimes but this case it can probably be argued (if it was purportedly for emotional distress and to pay for treatment) that it is not.

    If older men aren't supposed to mess around with young girls, because it might mess them up for life, why are you so harsh to her, when she in fact has a messed up life, because of it?

    If you think she should just be "over it," then why do we care if a consenting 14 year old girls climbs in the hot tub with a married older guy, anyhow?

    Because according to you, there is no damage done long term, right?

  • Democrats do worse than this
    March 12, 2010 1:05 p.m.

    Democracts to worse than this, so why is this a story? It happened 25 years ago, and we all make mistakes.

    At least Garn is not trying to turn this country into a socialist country.

  • extortionist
    March 12, 2010 1:05 p.m.

    Dear Cheryl--
    What are you trying to do? He really ruined your life massaging you in a hot tub? He offers you money to get on with your life and leave him alone, and you won't. You think dragging him through the mud won't get you just as dirty? Sounds like you are still on the pills and the 150 k has long been spent on your addiction--otherwise why would you see the need to do this? Sounds like he repented. Sounds like you have not.

  • Ron Orf
    March 12, 2010 1:05 p.m.

    She is a pill popping. extortionist, pure and simple. Garn will have to pay the price, but she and her husband should be sent to prison.

  • Header
    March 12, 2010 1:04 p.m.

    It's extortion. Something that old shouldn't be news now. Can't we all be good Christians and forgive the guy?

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2010 1:03 p.m.


    Repented? You mean by paying her to be quiet and keeping everything hush-hush? Is that what repentance is to you?

  • @extortionist
    March 12, 2010 1:01 p.m.

    Regardless of her motives, he made two really, really, really bad judgment calls. He is the one who committed a crime and was never prosecuted. He's the one who paid the hush money. Blame her all you want, but ultimately he is the one responsible for his own mess.

  • Sad...
    March 12, 2010 1:01 p.m.

    Jesus loved the sinner,
    forgave the adulteress,
    forgave the Romans,
    forgave the thieves, etc. etc.

    but Oy vey!, how he loathed those HYPOCRITES!!!

  • Bruce
    March 12, 2010 12:57 p.m.

    Politicians make me SICK. The IRS now should go after this woman, who apparently received the hush money and see if she reported it as income. If not. slam the freaking cell door on her also.

  • Oh Please
    March 12, 2010 12:57 p.m.

    This upright gentleman is one of the chief opponents of the legislative ethics initiative. Now we know why...

  • extortionist
    March 12, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    Dear Cheryl--
    What are you trying to do? He really ruined your life massaging you in a hot tub? He offers you money to get on with your life and leave him alone, and you won't. You think dragging him through the mud won't get you just as dirty? Sounds like you are still on the pills and the 150 k has long been spent on your addiction--otherwise why would you see the need to do this? Sounds like he repented. Sounds like you have not.

  • Soap Opera
    March 12, 2010 12:51 p.m.

    What makes us think that since he lied 25 years ago that he will tell the truth about what happened now? This is going to be a soap opera of sorts and I would not be surprised if more women come forward.

    Resign and let us enjoy the soap opera without the worry that you are still hiding in public office embarrassing the GOP and the State of Utah.

  • GoodGuyGary
    March 12, 2010 12:51 p.m.

    The lady first blackmailed the guy decades after the incident, while she herself having a "pill porblem". Then now she wants this guy to go down. Guys, just be loyal to your wife and what you believe, and such thing will never happened to you.

  • Granite
    March 12, 2010 12:50 p.m.

    What a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive.

  • I have 2 rules
    March 12, 2010 12:48 p.m.

    Rule #1 - Never go into a hot tub naked with someone when you are married (other than your spouse); and
    Rule #2 - Never go into a hot tub naked with someone who is a minor...NEVER!!

    These rules seem basic, but I guess you have to spell them out for some people.

  • prunoid
    March 12, 2010 12:46 p.m.

    If Deseret News knew about the incident, why did they cover it up?