Former coach gets prison for sex with student

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  • Resident
    Oct. 13, 2009 11:09 a.m.

    I must admit I was shocked when I first heard the news about what had happened between Gillens and the student, and at first I honestly didnt know what to believe. I find it very heartbreaking for his family to have to deal with something like this. They are good people and his wife is an amazing woman. my prayers are with her and her family. What I find even more heartbreaking though is the harassment that the victim is receiving. Many tried to justify Gillens actions by saying she was old enough to know what she was doing, but she isnt a girl who would do something like this in her right mind. He took advantage of her physically,spiritually, and emotionally.Life is hard and for him to take advantage of her hardships is wrong. She is such a sweet girl and has so many good things going for her. This is not her fault.People dont understand the difference between 17 and 61. Leave the girl alone and stop pouring salt in the wound.She can move on if we'll let her.So can his family. My prayers are with you.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 9, 2009 4:43 a.m.

    from Borther Jay's comment:
    " I would guess that at least 50% view pornography"

    100% of men view pornography (and always have in the past, and will in the future)....100%

    ...even in Utah.

  • Unbelievable
    Oct. 2, 2009 10:03 a.m.

    Born and raised in Fillmore myself. I would like to believe that there are good people that still live there, but as I have watched this story unfold over the summer I admit that I am starting to wonder. It appears that a large majority of Fillmore's residents are putting forth a lot of effort to destroy a young lady's life and the sickest part about it is the fact that it appears that they are enjoying every minute of it. SHAME ON THEM! Regardless of this young lady's age at the time - a lot of people seem to think that 17 is the same as 61 - I would like to point out a few facts:

    Teacher - student
    Adult - minor
    Married - single
    Parent - no children
    Temple covenants - no temple covenants (do they have any meaning?)
    61 years of wisdom - 17 year olds have no wisdom (wisdom, not knowledge, can only be obtained from life experience)

    Just a few thoughts that have helped me put things in perspective. To any current Fillmore residents that have ANY character at all - DO THE RIGHT THING - quit continuing to victimize.

  • Hank in Fillmore
    Oct. 2, 2009 9:25 a.m.

    To Anonymous | 5:04 p.m.

    "Please don't hold the fact that he is a former bishop against the church. In sparsely populated areas it's sometimes hard to find worthy members to lead their ward."

    What an arrogant attitude! Your comment reveals that at least ONE member of the Church in a non-rural setting is about as far from truly living a Christ-like life than anyone in a rural Ward!

  • Earnest T. Bass
    Oct. 1, 2009 6:42 p.m.

    What was he thinking? Despite your accomplishment pal, you are the adult, in a position of trust. More power to Law Enforcement.

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 1, 2009 5:17 p.m.

    There are also 2 women charged with the same thing in another part of Utah and one is sitting in jail

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 1, 2009 5:04 p.m.

    Please don't hold the fact that he is a former bishop against the church. In sparsely populated areas it's sometimes hard to find worthy members to lead their ward. I have relatives in that area and their church attendance is based on who is speaking that day, or if an offer of something fun comes in. I've found the church in these rural areas to be vastly different than the church I know and love. My family was actually billed for the food for my mil's funeral meal. Imagine my disgust when the RS president approached my fil and gave him a bill. This, just after he had buried his wife. That is most definitely not mainstream Mormonism. In small, rural wards, most men will eventually serve as Bishop, sooner or later, worthy or not.

  • Dooku
    Oct. 1, 2009 4:50 p.m.

    "Defense attorney James Slavens noted that Gillins had served 12 years as Fillmore's mayor in the '80s and '90s, was a well-respected veteran educator, a state champion basketball coach and held local leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

    Wow, so is this supposed to be his freedom ticket out of conviction or what? Get a life Defense Attorney...

  • very puzzeling
    Oct. 1, 2009 4:04 p.m.

    I am always perplexed when I hear of these old guys having sexual relations with young women - young enough to be their daughters or grand daughters. I mean where did Keith think this was going to lead? Certainly Keith was smart enough to know this was a dead end no matter the outcome for him and the girl so I just don't get it? Is it because the man is out of control with his sexual drives and emotions? If you find yourself even thinking of doing something like this maybe you ought to have yourself fixed or something. Good grief CALM DOWN!!!

  • Not a pedophile
    Oct. 1, 2009 4:02 p.m.

    She was not prepubescent, so he was not a pedophile. Virtually all men trying to have sex "groom" females. The difference here is that he was not a peer and her parents found out, don't like him, and pressed charges. Did her parents think her adult enough to drive a 2000 pound car to the grocery store to pick up milk and bread though she could have killed a person doing so based on the responsibility of driving? My magic 8-ball says yes.

  • more and more common
    Oct. 1, 2009 3:56 p.m.

    Seems like these sorts of ugly events are happening more and more. In fact it's hard to go through a year without hearing of at least a few of these cases in Utah. Why would a man like Keith throw everything away? Lots of things to blame but I would say simply doing the little things daily will keep a man safe and at the top of his list should always be staying right with his wife. So many ways to stray these days with the internet and emails but the fundamentals never really change over the years - if you are a Christian you simply do your best to "live" the commandments of Christ - in word and deed.

  • Equal work should mean equal pay
    Oct. 1, 2009 3:02 p.m.

    If he were a woman than he wouldn't have had such a harsh sentence. Whatever the penalty is, all perps should get equal punishment (all things being equal regarding the crime).

  • A new thought...
    Oct. 1, 2009 2:59 p.m.

    Hey, I just had a thought... This sentence seems like a double standard to me. If he were a woman, she would have been given a very lenient punishment. But since he's a man, he gets a tough punishment.

  • Victims Father
    Oct. 1, 2009 2:51 p.m.

    To all of you who have passed judgement and made remarks regarding the victim which happens to be my daughter. Let me be the first to tell you that they mean nothing. Keith Gillins will spend the rest of his life in prison which is exactly what he deserves! My advice to you people and your comments would be to worry about your own problems and quit wasting time writing ignorant remarks that are meaningless. Honestly you must have pretty pathetic lives to be wasting your time writing garbage that will never change or have any impact on the correct senetence that was handed down! "LIFE IN PRISON"!

  • Worst job in the world?
    Oct. 1, 2009 2:45 p.m.

    I can think of a lot worse jobs than representing a person accused of a crime. John Adams considered his defense of British soldiers, who could not get counsel to represent them, because they were considered SOOOO terrible, once said that the greatest honor of his life was defending those soldiers. If man's decision does not constitute a "mistake" we need to contact Mr. Webster. I respect the attorney in this case because he is providing the accused of his Constitutional right. The attorney is not the judge or jury, that job is reserved for the religious fanatics on this board.

  • RE: Crazy Attorney
    Oct. 1, 2009 2:24 p.m.

    You will let two people have that much power over you? Sad! Plus you will miss out on the world famous chicken...and Carls Jr. And just so you know, everybody stops in Fillmore either by choice or because they get pulled over or brake down.

  • geedub
    Oct. 1, 2009 2:23 p.m.

    former mayor, educator, championship basket ball coach, LDS leader...CHILD RAPIST!! No punishment is too great for this scumbag. Do you really think that given how long this guy has be in authority over children that this is the first kid he's been involved with. This is just the first time he's been caught. No one suddenly becomes a child abuser.

  • Something is rotten
    Oct. 1, 2009 1:59 p.m.

    Most of these predators are fine upstanding citizens in good standing with their church.

    There is something rotten in our Utah values that enables these predators.

    Has anyone done any research on the local culture and child predators?

  • A mistake?
    Oct. 1, 2009 1:40 p.m.

    It was not "a mistake". It was rape, abuse, and manipulation - all drawn out over a year of this young girl's life. Glad the Judge did the right thing. Even more glad he is now in the hands of the Board of Pardons. Defending these types of criminal offenses would be THE worst job in the world. If you lie down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas.

  • Crazy Attorney
    Oct. 1, 2009 1:28 p.m.

    Let's see, Slavens stated that because Gillins won a state championship in basketball he should only serve 1 year in the county lockup? What a comment. Slavens should be barred. I suppose he is an example in Fillmore just as Gillins was. What an idiot. He is probably a liberal democrat. Wow!!!! I think I will not ever stop in Fillmore again for anything.....

  • Jennifer C. Richards
    Oct. 1, 2009 1:21 p.m.

    This type of thing definitely happens a lot more often than most people realize.

  • hmmm
    Oct. 1, 2009 1:14 p.m.

    and crissy morris got 1 month served on weekends only.... pretty consistent, women get off easier then men on these aweful issues

  • RE: Everyone
    Oct. 1, 2009 11:38 a.m.

    I wonder how you are able to sleep at night judging everyone else. His attorney is doing the right thing representing the man. EVERYONE has the right to counsel. I am amazed at how quick good Christian people are to condemn a man for making a mistake. Ya'll go ahead and cast the first stone, by the way, Sister Smith you are living in fantasy land. Your holier-than-thou attitude makes me sick.

  • K2
    Oct. 1, 2009 11:23 a.m.

    This sounds like the grey area of so-called statutory rape. Reading between the lines of this story and reader comments, interesting points of being 8 years old and somehow knowning right vs. wrong, grooming, child vis-a-vis minor, female vis-a-vis woman, prostitution, parental oversight, cell-phone texting, males and porn, whole-family tragedy, cleansing repentance, judges, lawyers, parole officers, high rates in Utah, etc., etc. Seems that others are being taken advantage of, with exploitation and negligence being key ingredients. Children are the future of this country and the world. It would indeed be better to have a millstone hung around one's neck and dropped into the depths of an ocean rather than bring harm to a child. And yet, they are exploited all around this world - and have been since the beginning of time. God, are you listening?

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    Oct. 1, 2009 11:11 a.m.

    Prison for teacher in sex case, because he's a male, if this had been a female teacher she would of got house arrest, or probation. There's gender bias in the Courts. Law's works about as good as a Porta-Potty, it's there if needed, they stink, and don't really work.. John Evander Couey, a convicted sex offender awaiting execution for kidnapping, raping and burying 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford alive, died of natural causes Wednesday. Couey, 51, had been ill for some time and died at a Jacksonville hospital where he had been since Aug. 12, said Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger. Jessica's grandmother, Ruth Lunsford, 77, said in a telephone interview that she could not feel bad about Couey's death. He murdered my granddaughter. He didn't show any mercy to my granddaughter. God took control of it. He took him out of this world. The 2005 crime prompted many states to pass laws named for Jessica that impose restrictions on sex offenders, including registration requirements. Florida's version bans them and others convicted of serious crimes from school grounds.The biker Jessica's father, Mark Lunsford, teared up again.

  • Washington
    Oct. 1, 2009 11:10 a.m.

    In Washington the headlines are "Teacher has child (children) with student/ victim."

  • Southern Heat
    Oct. 1, 2009 10:39 a.m.

    As an educator for many years I can assure you the opportunity for sexual relations with a students are many. Teenagers a maturing much earlier and girls know well the power they possess by the way they dress and act. The sexual opportunities range from the janitor to the Principal and it's only through commitment to our profession and a love for education have most of us not allowed ourselves to be tempted.
    Taking nothing away from Mr. Gillens guilt or punishment, I find two ideas disturbing. How much responsibility should we parents have for letting our children dress the way they do and have access to multiple opportunites to hide communication to everyone. Sometimes it feels as if parents are hiding their heads in the sand to avoid confronting their children.
    The second concern I have is the inequality of punishment. Yes Chrissy Morris had multiple contacts with a male student and yes she received a slap on the wrist. Why the difference? Both were guilty of exactly the same crime. Maybe the answer lies not in the crime but in the small town atmosphere and pressures on the judge.
    Parent, take more responsibility.
    Educators, be more professional.

  • Sick
    Oct. 1, 2009 9:47 a.m.

    Nobody mentioned the fact that he "groomed" his victim. Being a person in authority and using that power over his intended victim to basically maneuver himself into a position where she couldn't say no is the ultimate power that this manipulator has. I'm sure he used threats against her family as well, as do all abusers do.

    Man of the cloth or not - this crimes deserves ultimate punishment.

  • Brother Jay
    Oct. 1, 2009 9:43 a.m.

    Sister Smith- I believe the seminary teacher from Lone Peak also had a house that was isolated from all these evils. I guess there are about a million men in Utah- I would guess that at least 50% view pornography- The last sex cases like this I have read about are a semiary teacher, ex-bishop, and teacher that was active in his religion. Maybe the problem is a lot deeper than viewing pornography. You would really think that with Utah's very high rate of pornography viewing this stuff would happen lots more. I hope you can keep your family away from this stuff- maybe move to Mars?

  • Ridiculuous
    Oct. 1, 2009 9:35 a.m.

    Does it bother anyone else that if this had happenned when this girl was a few months older there would have been ZERO legal ramifications? I think we overreact to these cases and consequently make 17 year olds feel overly victimized when they need to recognize they have some degree of responsibility for their actions-certainly not the responsibility of the adult involved-but a 17 year old is not a child and shouldn't be treated like one.
    Really I think firing him and letting the public know of his actions would have been sufficient as it would have been incredibly embarrasing and would let other parents know of his behavior and to be cautious. I really don't think a man who sleeps with a consenting 17 year old qualifies as a pedophile or someone who I am terrified of having in society. I am concerned that we will pay 3 years of imprisonment for him and there will be 3 years when he will not be paying for the financial support of his children.

  • Save it!!
    Oct. 1, 2009 9:20 a.m.

    9 out of ten times women PREDATORS get dramatically less severe sentences.

    Women get all kinds of silly protections in our society. They scream for equality right up until it no longer is convenient or works in their favor....then all of sudden they don't want it.

    Must be nice to have it both ways.

    Men are somehow much more awful and disgusting when they do the exact same thing.

    Makes perfect sense huh? Yet in our PC society nobody would dare stand up and do anything about the double standard.


    You name it.

  • Don't get it...
    Oct. 1, 2009 9:19 a.m.

    Reading Utah headlines from out of the state makes me scratch my head. It seems that there are more teachers having sex with minors in Utah than any other state. I live in Washington and I know that this conduct is reprted VERY infrequently here. Why is that?

  • Everyone
    Oct. 1, 2009 9:10 a.m.

    in this community wonders how his attorney sleeps at night.

  • Ugly Man Ugly Crime
    Oct. 1, 2009 9:05 a.m.

    This man is a classic pedophile. Finds his victim, finds her weakness, grooms her and then abuses her for his own desires. I hope in 20 years her life will be back on track and she will heal and be able to function in a normal relationship. I doubt she will find religion to be much help here. She ought to leave Utah and get a fresh start. She will not begin to heal in the environment and community she is in. Parents... Cell phones are not just a fun toy for teens. They can and are used for other purposes.Do you know who is talking to your teens. If that same person phoned your home over and over and spoke in a sexual mannor to your teen would that be something you would just ignore. Wake Up! Know who your kids have contact with and who has contact with your kids. Know exactly who they are giving information to and who they are talking to. Pedophiles are everywhere and all they need is a naive person or the proper situation. They will offend and will seek out a victim.

  • What if it was a female
    Oct. 1, 2009 8:42 a.m.

    I remember reading an article about a female teacher in southern Utah "Chrissy Morris" who had something happen very similar to this. She was given 30 days jail served only on weekends... any bets that his sentence will be more serious just because he is a man?

  • Crazy
    Oct. 1, 2009 7:52 a.m.

    Think about it, if Gillen would have waited a few months, he wouldn't have been any different than President Bill Clinton. Those few months would have made the relationship "OK."

    Another thought is if Gillen were a famous film director (i.e. Polanski, who gave alcohol to a 13 year old and forced himself on her) who attacked the young woman, he would have the famous and the powerful, even heads of state, coming to his defense.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 1, 2009 7:19 a.m.

    Where he messed up is he didn't do it when she was 13, he didn't drug her, he wasn't an Oscar winning director, he didn't have millions, he hasn't ran away to France for 30+ years, and he didn't do it in Hollywood.

    That's the key.

    Follow that formula and some will think you're a hero and fight your extradition.

    (I'm glad I live in this state)

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 1, 2009 6:55 a.m.

    His good reputation ruined is punishment enough? How does this lawyer sleep at night? What a selfish statement added to an already grossly selfish act. Amazingly selfish! To top it off, this shows absolutely NO understanding of a pedophiles true nature. HE WILL DO IT AGAIN AND THIS WAS NOT HIS FIRST VICTIM!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Unfortunately, there has been far too little research on rehabbing pedophiles and all sexual pedophiles. They need help. They are not happy with what they do. But until we find a way to truly rehab these people then they need to stay behind bars until we do for the sake of their future victims.....and no straight jail time will cure a pedophile!

    Do you realize that 90% all crimes against woman and children in Utah are committed by repeat offenders? 20 years ago, it was 65%. It's quite obvious what is happening. So, next time you find yourself being the victim, take all the lawyers, judges, parole officers, and all those that release these people to court as well. They are just as much to blame.

  • Calling this rape is a stretch
    Oct. 1, 2009 6:33 a.m.

    Calling voluntary sexual intercourse involving a 17 year old rape is a stretch, and it does cheapen the definition.

    Nevertheless it is against the law. I don't understand why people would do it given that the penalities are so harsh. Why don't they just find someone of legal age?

    If prostitution were legal, there would be less excuse or reason for illegal intercourse of any kind, rape or so called. If we as a society want to diminish illegal intercourse, we ought to consider this option.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 1, 2009 5:51 a.m.

    If the victim is a girl, the abuser should never see the light of day. If the victim is a boy, high fives are given to the victim and the abuser is out on the streets to prey on more victims rather quickly.

    The double standard is sickening.

  • Sister Smith
    Oct. 1, 2009 5:24 a.m.

    I wonder if this man`s immorality problems began with looking at porn. Seems that many so called "respectable" people are viewing this harmful material. Haven`t the Brethren repeatedly warned us of this? When Brother Smith was on his mission, one of his companions had been deeply involved in viewing pornography. That man is now serving a life sentence for various crimes of a sexual nature. At our house, we believe in keeping our thoughts pure, and not pandering to man`s baser instincts.
    He should immediately cofess his sins to his bishop, and after his excommunication, he should begin the cleansing process of repentance.

  • Huh?
    Oct. 1, 2009 3:44 a.m.

    There was a female teacher that did basically the same thing, and pled to the same. She taught up in Davis County, and was sentenced to prison last July. Both Judges did the right thing. It wasn't any different because she was female.

  • David O
    Oct. 1, 2009 2:20 a.m.

    He is a predator that will now get what he deserves in jail.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 30, 2009 8:35 p.m.

    If inappropriate conduct was suspected in late 2008, why would the school district allow Gillens to teach until the end of the school year?

  • no respect
    Sept. 30, 2009 8:08 p.m.

    A teacher should have known better.
    A public servant should have known better.
    A bishop should have known better.

    All of those things should get him more time, not less.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 30, 2009 6:44 p.m.

    Whether this man was a Bishop or a Mayor he was in a position of authority and had no right having any sexual contact with a minor. He deserves the sentence that he received. He should serve the full sentence, have a large sign put in his yard saying that he is a sexual predator and have no office of authority in the future.

  • Mom of a daughter
    Sept. 30, 2009 5:37 p.m.

    It doesn't matter how old the girl is, rape is rape when it is FORCED, just because she didn't know she couldn't say no, if that is the case. Who knows? My sister was raped at 12. Does that mean it was not rape, and did the idea cheapen "real rape"? Gee, after what she went thru, should you actually quibble about it? She is a child by law, a woman by gender and a human by nature. He should have respected her on all levels. He deserves the same in return. The jerk.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 30, 2009 5:26 p.m.

    She had to agree......

  • Rich
    Sept. 30, 2009 5:22 p.m.

    The only way we'll get fair sentencing is if a separate sentencing judge reads the facts of the case with all the "he" and "his" and "she" and "her" pronouns and all names redacted. That won't ever happen. It's not that male abusers should get lesser sentences; it's that female abusers should get equal punishment. After all, they have just as much knowledge of what they are doing is wrong. I think the sentences should be doubled for people in positions of authority, such as teacher, bishop, psychologist, cop, etc. The age of the victim should be taken into account. Having consensual sex with a 17-year-old is a lot less serious in my eyes than raping a 10-year-old. Allowing the senences to run concurrently is a crock. The guy should get 10 years or more, so he should get at least three consecutive three years to life sentences.

  • Frederick Gerard Gene Depardeu
    Sept. 30, 2009 5:16 p.m.

    I'm sorry but he is not an attractive man, how could he have possibly pulled this off?

    Anyway, have fun in jail, the law is the law, I don't care if she is almost 18. Doesn't matter.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 30, 2009 5:05 p.m.

    First, I son't understand the comment about the 17 year old and the commenter saying "Calling this a rape is a cheapens the definition and is a disservice to women who are raped." ?????
    I agree with the comment that had it been a female, the punishment would have been a slap on the wrist. I hate the double standard!! I am a wife, mother and grandmother. Rape and sexual abuse is a horrible, horrible thing, but the punishment should be the same for both male or female offenders

  • Looks like
    Sept. 30, 2009 4:59 p.m.

    justice was served. How sad that a person could ruin their life and that of a young woman. Hope his family is able to cope with this.

  • IF
    Sept. 30, 2009 4:45 p.m.

    We all know if this was a female abuser she would be on house arrest with a suspended sentence or some ridiculous slap on the wrist.

    If you are a man? You're toast.

  • Why call it rape:?
    Sept. 30, 2009 4:38 p.m.

    "I don't respect he's been a bishop. I don't respect he was a mayor. He raped my daughter," the victim's father testified during an emotional sentencing hearing that lasted nearly 2‚ÄČ1/2 hours"

    Yes and the 17 year old daughter, being under 18 was too young to even think she could say no. Calling this a rape is a cheapens the definition and is a disservice to women who are raped.

  • mountain
    Sept. 30, 2009 4:33 p.m.

    I thought the sentencing was scheduled for October . . . it is probably best that it was today so fewer people were available to make fools out of themselves by talking about how wonderful the guilty is and so forth in front of a camera or to a reporter. Thank goodness he is going to prison where he belongs and my prayers are with the victim - and yes she is a victim - and her family. If she or her family ever read these then I want her to know that her identity does not have to be "his victim" for life, there is much happiness to be found in the world and healing is a journey not a destination. Do the right thing for you and try not to get distracted by what others think or say. You know who your supporters are and stay away from those that aren't - your supporters decided long ago they were behind you - don't waste your breath trying to explain yourself to those that don't intend to support you. Live a great life. You deserve all the happiness the world has to offer.