Ex-Utah church leader charged with sex abuse, lewdness involving boys

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  • Or Brian ,
    Jan. 9, 2019 9:58 a.m.

    This has had no follow up. Did he get arrested? Has there been a court date? What is happening?

  • ETO Buff Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 14, 2018 4:53 p.m.

    @BYUAlum, I'm pretty sure that the article says, "Upon learning of these allegations, we took steps to notify authorities and to support their investigation into this matter." If there's an investigation, then it has been submitted to authorities. You might think that all three of the boys involved are bad kids and are just lying about the events in question, but you're going to find out in life that we don't always know everything that our friends and acquaintances do every minute of every day, and that some people succumb to temptation. More than nine times out of ten in cases of this nature, the accused person is guilty. You might take notice of how it says that he has not returned requests for comment, so I would have to wonder why he isn't claiming innocence and defending himself if he is indeed innocent.

  • RIPMalcolmYoung Draper, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 1:38 a.m.

    I have also known this man since 2004 and found him to be a good guy. He also used to tell me about the kinds of TV shows and movies he liked and it shocked me being that he was active in our congregation and a first counselor in a leadership position. I also have been a scout leader to at least two of the Teens involved and they are good and decent people. This is so far reaching- Mr. Head has a family and a nice big home and good employment. He is very well known to members in the Riverview Stake and many of these folks are watching this situation and having to explain it to their children. The fact is that lives will be changed for the worse no matter how this shakes out.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 4:42 p.m.

    Things are not always as they are portrayed in the press and media. According to this article, this man is guilty unless proven innocent. Why were details printed to the public before being submitted to a court of law? In my opinion, this is a good man whom we know personally.

    The truth will prevail. Do NOT rush to judgment!

  • drich Green River, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2018 2:43 p.m.

    Pretty sad to hide ones immorality as a representative of Jesus Christ.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 13, 2018 2:01 p.m.

    It should be noted that all these interactions happened in settings and ways that were totally against guidelines. To try and use this incident to call for changes in the nature of worthiness interviews is to weaponize an event to influence unrelated events.

  • Samwise Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 1:59 p.m.

    This is why the "rule of two" has been implemented for primary and youth leaders, and why it should be extended to all Church leaders when interacting with youth. No ward should ever have less than two Church leaders present for any primary or youth activity or class. Logistically it will be very hard for some wards, but the sickos and creeps of this world have ruined it for everybody.

  • mjkkjk , 00
    Dec. 13, 2018 1:19 p.m.

    @JohnnyTriumph

    I understand you feeling that way. But I assume that means you’re also willing to accept a calling in primary.

    As a recently released Bishop, I can’t even begin to describe how difficult it is to get people to accept callings in Primary. Even though they expect to be able to drop off their kids with two-deep leadership each sunday.

    We were always able to to follow the two-deep rule, but it often meant the same few people stepping up and working MUCH harder than many other parents who felt entitled to two hours away from their children each Sunday.

    My counselors and I filled in primary classes regularly to ensure two-deep leadership even though we’d already been at church since 6am and I’d continue to be there until 5 or 6pm.

    Please, please, please...surprise your Bishop by volunteering for Primary callings. You may or may not get one, but at least be the person who volunteers any time a sub is needed.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 1:07 p.m.

    @SorryNotSorry;

    "..saying that a Church Leader should not discuss sexual matters with minors is completely non-sensical."

    -- LDS church leaders as not trained as sex counsellors (or even as counsellors at all).

    "...put the church leaders in a two deep situation ..."

    -- What happens when the top leader is an offender and calls as his 2nd/3rd another such? Then what? "Two deep" won't solve the problem because they'll be in cahoots.

    "Yes, get a woman, a counselor, a therapist in the room when allegations of sex abuse come up for a girl."

    -- Absolutely! But NOT a woman from church - a PROFESSIONAL!

    "People who know the truth about the Lord's Law of Chastity ..."

    -- Man-made "law of chastity", anything else is presumptuous.

    @Cowboy Poet;

    This particular bishop would not have been on the registry (yet).

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 12:54 p.m.

    Inside the article it may be clear, but the title says otherwise. Bait and switch at its best. Nobody in the church refers to a Bishop as church leader. When the term Church Leader is used, it is used to identify an Apostle or Prophet. Those going after explorer686 really need to check yourself and quit thinking you have all the answers. They ask a legit question. Relax.

    This was a guy who used his position to manipulate not only a young boy, but a friend. Throw the book at him. No place for this anywhere. Sadly, it is here to stay. Someone said, is there anything we can do to prevent this. Sadly, there is not. You just don't know someone has this issue until it is to late. It's not like they walk around wearing signs.

    The best thing to do is educate your kids. Doesn't matter who they are. If they are doing something that they know is inappropriate. Get out. Doesn't matter if it is a family member, Bishop, Church Leader, School Teacher, or Grocery Store Clerk. It's time to get out and tell someone.

  • SorryNotSorry Draper, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 12:14 p.m.

    @SomeClarity

    Society puts their children in front of TV shows and movies that talk about sex. They give their kids devices that allow them to have access to sex. They put their kids in Sex Ed classes. Sex is everywhere. Objectifying women is everywhere.

    So, saying that a Church Leader should not discuss sexual matters with minors is completely non-sensical.

    Yes, put the church leaders in a two deep situation when talking with a boy with a porn problem. Yes, get a woman, a counselor, a therapist in the room when allegations of sex abuse come up for a girl. Involve the parents, the YW President, RS President in worthiness interviews for the temple.

    But we need church leaders who are willing to talk about the sanctity of marriage, chastity in thoughts, words & actions, and the beauty of sex between two emotionally healthy and loving married couples.

    People who know the truth about the Lord's Law of Chastity should not be silenced because of bad apples. Create appropriate times and places sure. But silence them, absolutely NOT. Not when they can get a twisted, distorted view of sex from spending a few days watching pornography on their device.

  • Cowboy Poet Vernal, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 10:43 a.m.

    On my computer, I have a subscription to a web site which lists registered sex offenders.

    Currently living within my local ward boundaries of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints, are a nonmember and an active member, with another active member having recently moved away, and all three of these individuals were convicted of offenses against children.

    For the safety of their families, I urge others to also use their computers to learn which of their neighbors are registered sex offenders, as there are several free subscription services on the Internet which provide this critical information.

  • SomeClarityPlease Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 10:20 a.m.

    The church seems to be making sweeping changes lately. How about making a sweeping change and end altogether leaders discussing sexual matters with minors. This is good for the minors, leaders, and church alike. Giving parents the option to be present does not cut it.

  • PRSomega Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 10:11 a.m.

    To GB - Lindon, UT and To explorer686 - Davis, UT

    You are right, "GB," the article does say that the man was a Bishop, but the headline says, CHURCH LEADER. As you know, most people rarely read the details and only focus on the headlines.

    "explorer686" is right on when he points out that the headline is misleading and a distinct departure from the many times similar and even more egregious acts by priests of the Catholic church have been reported. In addition, I don't recall any of them, including Cardinals being referred to as "leaders."

  • Palmetto Bug Columbia, SC
    Dec. 13, 2018 9:58 a.m.

    These types of stories are heartbreaking and infuriating but it's important to remember that these are very rare events (even if they seem commonplace). Studies have found the rates of abuse and violent crime have steadily decreased for many decades but people perceive these rates have increased because they're more aware of news coverage.

    Children are also much more likely to be abused by a family member than a church or other community leader.

    It's okay to trust people. There are certain church leaders I feel perfectly comfortable with and there are others I don't. My wife and I make sure our children know what actions and discussions are appropriate from other adults and what's not. We talk with them after any interview or other 1-1 meeting with other adults to make sure nothing nefarious occurred. I had many such interviews and meetings with leaders when I was a youth and still consider these important parts of my development.

    We need to keep our children safe but also learn to trust (but verify).

  • tblack7070 Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 13, 2018 9:53 a.m.

    Two deep leadership, that is the ONLY way to prevent this kind of thing. I dont care if its parents sitting in interviews with minors or tuesday night mutual. You never leave your kids alone with a solo leader!!

  • JaneB Wilsonville, OR
    Dec. 13, 2018 9:49 a.m.

    I agree, don't let your children be alone with church leaders. Particularly men. Ever.

    In light of what's been talked about recently with Bishop's interviews, I asked my 30 year old daughter if a bishop ever asked her sexual questions, including about masturbation. She said YES, every time. Honestly, I was shocked. I couldn't imagine the 3 men I know so well asking my daughters (as young as 12!) sexually explicit questions. That is straight up sexual harassment - if not worse. A 40+ year old man asking sexual questions to a 12 year old in a closed room??? What kind of insanity is this? It would never be tolerated in any other setting, and it should not be tolerated in the church. Period.

    If I had it to do over again, I would never let a bishop interview my children. Temple trip or no temple trip. I'm sorry I didn't know better at the time.

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 9:44 a.m.

    This is going to be a rare complement to the D News.

    No one else has this story. I went to the Trib - nothing about it. I searched Google News - only the D News came up with Jeffrey Head.

    This is YUGE. It means they are at least trying to be transparent here. It means the D News owners aren't playing any whitewash games here.

    It would be helpful to have a timeline here of when this guy was bishop and when these things happened. 2 1/2 years is too long for something like this to come to light. We need to work on that, since these guys tend to have multiple victims. The sooner he's exposed, the fewer victims there will be.

    Prosecutors have a big responsibility to get things right quickly.

    The Church has a huge responsibility to act quickly and isolate suspected predators at the first allegation.

    There is a way to balance due process with child protection. If done right in the Church, you will not even know it is happening.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 9:28 a.m.

    "There will always be this type of person in any community. Young people should never be left alone with church leaders, or anyone else. The time of trust is over."

    This has always been a problem, it is nothing new. It just used to be considered a "private" matter. What has changed is society's tolerance of these kids of things. Women used to be told to stay with their abusive husbands, largely because they were totally dependent on them. That isn't the case anymore.

    And sadly we are seeing it isn't just men. Seems almost annually at least one story of a teacher having an inappropriate relationship with a student, male and female teachers alike. This is not a church thing, but an "opportunity" thing. Teacher, Church Leader, family friend... we just need to be diligent - but not rob our youth of their innocents because of the evil acts of a very selfish person.

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 8:58 a.m.

    @ranch - my view of who to trust my children with is very limited. Church leader or not I refuse to leave my children alone with any man. The fact that this man was a Bishop only part of the story. I refuse to trust anyone anymore, the health and safety of my children is paramount.

  • bikeboy Boise, ID
    Dec. 13, 2018 8:37 a.m.

    well informed: "Is there anything that can be done to prevent these types of things from happening in the future?"

    I'm 100% certain that those who call leaders to positions, absolutely believe they've made good choices. As far back as the ancient church, a bishop was supposed to "be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled... just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught." (Titus 1:6-9)

    It's tragic when such an important trust is betrayed. The Church has more than 30,000 wards and branches. Every bishop and branch president has agency, like everybody else, and occasionally one of them makes very bad choices. There WILL be consequences.

  • P5Proud Santa Monica, CA
    Dec. 13, 2018 8:31 a.m.

    I have to concur with Explorer--"ex-church leader?" If this man were a Catholic priest he should (and probably would) be called a Catholic priest in the headline. Failing to identify this man correctly in the headlines--or posts that support not titling this piece "Ex LDS Bishop---" are indicative of why the problem continues--namely, the desire to reveal, but at the same time, not let our side look too bad. This paradigm---once again in America as it always has, comes at the expense of the ones we swear to protect and should protect. PR must never, absolutely never come at the expense of our children.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 7:38 a.m.

    This is why nobody should ever allow their children to be alone with any "church leaders" (of any denomination). They should make sure that their children know that their church leaders are not allowed to discuss sex or to be alone with them, ever, and that they know to tell their parents immediately if either should happen.

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 7:27 a.m.

    Another reason why minors (or anyone else really) should never be alone with church leaders

  • Cowboy Poet Vernal, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 7:27 a.m.

    @ EXPLORER 686, Et Alia:

    As a convert in The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints, I always regarded the Bishop of my local ward as a "Church leader".

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 7:23 a.m.

    George Q. Cannon said, “Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a bishop; an apostle, or a president; if you do, they will fail you at some time or place, they will do wrong or seem to, and your support be gone; but if we lean on God, He never will fail us. When men and women depend on God alone, and trust in Him alone, their faith will not be shaken if the highest in the Church should step aside.”

  • Klaus2012 Rexburg, ID
    Dec. 13, 2018 7:23 a.m.

    "Is there anything that can be done to prevent these types of things from happening in the future?"

    There will always be this type of person in any community. Young people should never be left alone with church leaders, or anyone else. The time of trust is over.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Dec. 13, 2018 7:02 a.m.

    I remember that as a kid back in the late sixties, we heard about things like this from the big boys at the Jr. High School and were told by our parents that these were old wives tales, told by people who hate God to get others to not trust their churches and religious leaders. We were told that we should report kids who spoke about things like this to our teachers or principals so that they could “straighten the kids out and get them to stop scaring other children.” Who would have dreamed that the nasty boys who spread these tales were being more honest and real with us than our own parents?

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 6:10 a.m.

    @ explorer

    I don’t think it matters. Why do you? Anyone put in a position of trust has an obligation to ensure that children are safe. When you violate that position of trust, you face harsh consequences.

    Actions have consequences!

  • Max Upstate, NY
    Dec. 13, 2018 3:21 a.m.

    @ Explorer686

    Your answer is in the very first line of the story: "A Draper man described in court documents as a "leader" in a local church..."

  • GB Lindon, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 3:20 a.m.

    @ explorer686 10:38 PM: "Church leader or LDS bishop?? Why not say it as it is?"

    The article is pretty clear in calling him "a former bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Dec. 12, 2018 11:51 p.m.

    I don't care who you are, or what position you hold in any church or political office, if you don't control your thoughts, you won't be able to control your actions. "As a man (or woman) thinketh in his heart, so is he." And, the scriptures tell us that you cannot serve two masters. Either you will love one and hate the other, or you will hate the one and love the other, but you can't do both for very long. Any leader in any Christian church should know this.

  • belfastgirl Pine Valley, UT
    Dec. 12, 2018 10:59 p.m.

    Seems like you cannot trust anyone and its sad that a member of the clergy falls into this category. I was out shopping today and noticed a man in Starbucks looking at porn on his phone while ordering a coffee and it made me feel that there isnt a safe place anymore What is happening to society?

  • explorer686 davis, UT
    Dec. 12, 2018 10:38 p.m.

    Church leader or LDS bishop?? Why not say it as it is? Do other articles involving Catholic priests described as church leaders?

  • well informed Salt Lake, UT
    Dec. 12, 2018 9:47 p.m.

    How sad and heart breaking.

    Is there anything that can be done to prevent these types of things from happening in the future?

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 12, 2018 8:30 p.m.

    I personally have known this man and his family for several years. He is a good, decent man. I'm sorry for these accusations and hope they are found to be untrue!

    We love and support you, Jeff!