State Lawmaker Advised Mormon Bishop Against Reporting Church Member Who Sexually Abused Daughters, Lawsuit Filings Say

Utah state representative told a Mormon bishop not to report a church member’s sexual abuse, advice that led to seven years of rape and abuse committed by the church member against his own daughters, according to new lawsuit documents.

State Rep. Merrill Nelson (R-UT), a prominent lawyer for the Mormon church, allegedly answered the first call from a help line when Bishop John Herrod told him that Arizona church member Paul Adams had admitted to sexually abusing two of his daughters. For more than two years, Nelson communicated with Herrod and another bishop who knew about the abuse allegations, according to call records, the Associated Press reported.

Nelson told Herrod “that he could be sued if he reported, and the instruction by counsel not to report Paul [Adams] to the authorities was the law in Arizona and had nothing to do with Church doctrine,” according to the plaintiff’s filings. However, as the AP reported, Arizona law allows blanket immunity for those who report child sexual abuse or neglect.

The sex abuser’s two daughters and one of his sons are trying to gain access to records from the Mormon church, but the church has refused them based on confidentiality. After a county judge ruled in the victims’ favor to see the records, the Mormon church took the case to the Court of Appeals.

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Utah FBI employee charged with sexually abusing multiple children

A man who works for the Federal Bureau of Investigation was arrested last week and charged with molesting multiple children.

Robert Alexander Smith, 65, faces four 1st-degree felony counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, four class-A misdemeanor counts of lewdness involving a child, and two class-B misdemeanor counts of lewdness.

According to court documents, Smith was arrested after a young girl told her mom in June that she wanted to talk about something “very uncomfortable.” She said that on multiple occasions, Smith had forced her to touch him inappropriately under his clothes in 2020.

Interviews were then conducted with the girl, as well as four other girls who said Smith had engaged with them in inappropriate ways. One of the girls said Smith forced her to do the same thing as he did with the first victim, and three other girls said Smith had touched them inappropriately under their clothing.

The arrest report states that Smith “occupied a position of special trust as it pertains to the victims in this case.”

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Utah County: 120 Come Forward with Information in ‘Ritualistic Child Sexual Abuse’ Investigation

An investigation into “ritualistic child sexual abuse” has continued to turn heads after 120 victims and those who know victims have come forward, a Utah sheriff reported. A local prosecutor was reportedly named in the probe during a May 31 press conference, though the sheriff’s office has not released names of potential victims or suspects.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Department has asked for assistance in the investigation from the FBI, which it has received. “It’s common practice for the FBI to offer assistance, when requested, to our law enforcement partners. We are assisting, and so I will defer to the lead agency, which is the Utah County Sheriff’s Office,” said FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker.

“I don’t know the exact number, but it is now over 120 people who have contacted us. [Of that number], I am sure. There are likely more than 120 at this point,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon told The Epoch Times.

The 120 figure is comprised of both victims and people who know victims, Cannon said.

According to the department, the alleged abuse took place between 1990 and 2010. The Utah County Sheriff’s office previously announced the investigation — which has been underway since April 2021 — in a May 31 press release.

The department detailed its investigation into “ritualistic sexual abuse and child sex trafficking” in Utah’s second largest county. In addition, law enforcement uncovered similar instances in neighboring Juab County and Sanpete County during the same period.

Utah County Attorney David Leavitt was reportedly among those named in the probe.

Leavitt has denied the allegations and described one of the alleged victims as “tragically mentally ill” after the May 31 press release. “I learned that my wife and I were part of those allegations, allegedly that we were guilty of cannibalizing young children, and murdering young children,” Leavitt said before denying the allegations.

The prosecutor has also criticized the handling of the investigation by Sheriff Mike Smith and has accused him of conducting a politically motivated “witch hunt” in an election year.

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Utah Ritualized Sexual Abuse Investigation: Is There a History of Ritual Abuse in Utah?

As the Utah primary draws near, the investigation into “ritualized child sexual abuse” has garnered more than 120 tips related to claims of ritualistic sex rings. Let’s examine the history of these allegations in Utah.

In the nearly 4 weeks since the Utah County Sheriff’s Office announced an investigation into allegations of “ritualized child sexual abuse” in three Utah counties, they have received more than 120 tips in the form of phone calls, texts, and emails. UCSO Public Information Officer Sgt. Spencer Cannon told the Salt Lake Tribune that the office has “pulled in” sergeants with experience in sex assault cases to help review the information.

The Last American Vagabond (TLAV) has been following the unusual situation since May 31st when the Utah County Sheriff’s Office announced they were working with multiple county and federal agencies investigating reports of ritualistic child sexual abuse from as far back as 1990. The Sheriff’s Office said the investigation began in April 2021. The investigation subsequently discovered previous reports alleging “similar forms of ritualistic sexual abuse and trafficking” that occurred in Utah County, Juab County, and Sanpete County during the time between 1990 and 2010.

Following the  announcement of this investigation by Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith, Utah County Attorney David Leavitt held a press conference where he shared a 151-page document titled “victim statement” related to a 2012 case involving allegations of sexual abuse of children. Leavitt and several other people are named in the statement as being involved with a group practicing ritual child sex abuse. He claimed the Sheriff’s investigation was a political attack on him related to the June 28th primary elections in Utah.

As TLAV reported last week, courtroom records revealed that Utah County Attorney David Leavitt lied when he said the 2012 case was dismissed by his predecessor because it was “unbelievable,” lacking evidence, and the story of a “tragically mentally ill” woman.

The Salt Lake Tribune has also reported that USCO Sgt. Cannon said the report that Leavitt was referencing was not what started the sheriff’s investigation last year. “We had a victim come forward and disclose abuse of this nature,” Cannon told the SLT. “And so that’s what started our investigation. The case that David Leavitt spoke about is not the case we initially started investigating. It’s not the case that we became aware of in April of last year.”

Cannon did acknowledge that the detectives became aware of the 2012 case and the allegations against therapist David Lee Hamblin, but did not say if the case was part of the current investigation.

As Utahans prepare to vote in the primary on June 28th — a race in which both Sheriff Mike Smith and Utah County Attorney David Leavitt are both up for re-election — we wait to see if there will be any additional announcements, indictments, subpoenas or any official action taken.

To better understand this current investigation, we have examined hundreds of pages of Utah government documents, articles, and allegations of ritualized sexual abuse to paint a picture of this history.

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Signed as Law: Utah Expands Limits on Drone Surveillance

On Monday, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill into law expanding state limits on government drone surveillance. The legislation will not only establish important privacy protections at the state level; it will also help thwart the federal surveillance state.

Rep. Ryan Wilcox (R) introduced House Bill 259 (HB259) on Jan. 28. In 2014, Utah passed a law requiring police to get a warrant before conducting drone surveillance in most situations. HB259 clarifies that the law applies “to any imaging surveillance device, as defined in Section 77-23d-102 when used in conjunction with an unmanned aircraft system.” This includes “radar, sonar, infrared, or other remote sensing or detection technology.”

In effect, the enactment of HB259 clarifies that this type of technology cannot be used in conjunction with a drone without a warrant.

The Senate passed HB259 by a 23-0 vote. The House approved the measure by a vote of 70-0. With Gov. Cox’s signature, the law goes into effect May 4.

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Salt Lake City Tribune editorial calls for National Guard to keep unvaccinated people in their homes

The Salt Lake City Tribune editorial board published an editorial on Saturday that called on the Utah governor to use the National Guard to prevent unvaccinated citizens from going anywhere. 

In an editorial titled, “Utah leaders have surrendered to COVID pandemic, the Editorial Board writes” the paper lays blame at elected officials for failing to mandate the vaccine for all citizens. The paper asserted that if Utah was a “civilized place,” Republican Gov. Spencer Cox would implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the state and have the National Guard enforce the mandate by not letting unvaccinated people go “anywhere.” 

“Were Utah a truly civilized place, the governor’s next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going as far as to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere,” the editorial board wrote

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Republican Utah Governor Defends Utah Jazz Basketball Team Excluding White Students From Scholarship

This evening on his call-in radio show, the establishment Republican Governor of Utah, Spencer J. Cox, defended the Utah Jazz basketball team in response to a constituent’s question regarding whether or not he thought that it was racist for the team’s scholarship opportunity to exclude white children…

The move by the Utah Jazz to exclude white children is in line with other recent actions taken by the NBA to support radical ‘Black Lives Matter’ Activism, such as Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban trying and failing to end the tradition of standing for the National Anthem, and the organization as a whole pledging to donate over $300 million dollars to ‘black empowerment.’

Nor is the announcement from Gov. Cox particularly surprising. Gov. Cox vowed he would not support President Trump back in 2016, chastised Christians who oppose gay marriage, when he flagellated himself by saying “I recognize fully that I am a balding, youngish, middle-aged straight, white, male, Republican, politician… with all of the expectations and privileges that come with those labels.” He also made a video pledging a ‘commitment to civility and the peaceful transition of power’ with his democrat opponent during the 2020 election, a subtle slight, once again, towards President Trump.

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Utah Passes Law Requiring Porn to Be Blocked on All Cellphones, Tablets in the State

The free thinking argument, that blows away the notion of illegal prostitution, is that of pornography. Pornography, or porn, is nothing more than prostitution that has been state-sanctioned, taxed, filmed, and distributed. However, because it is taxed — politicians have generally left it alone — until now. Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill Tuesday that calls for all smartphones and tablets sold in the Beehive State to have adult content filters.

If one is truly for freedom, outlawing consensual acts between adults should be resisted — even if these acts involve the swapping of bodily fluids. And, although the state claims the right to kidnap and cage people for engaging in these consensual acts, it does not mean they are somehow immoral.

The Free Thought Project has long objected to the prohibition of sex work as it creates crime, sends sex workers into dangerous situations, and outlaws one of the oldest professions in the world. While the prohibition of sex work is bad enough, the governor of Utah passing a law that will filter out legal pornography on all tablets and smartphones sold in the state is outright tyrannical.

If someone wishes to access porn on their device, they must first get permission from their cellphone provider and they will be put on a list of people allowed to view porn.

According to House Bill 72, the so-called filter would “prevent the user of the device from accessing material that is harmful to minors on the device; enable certain users to deactivate the filter for the device or for specific content; and notify the user when content is filtered.”

Cox said the move would send an “important message” about preventing children from accessing explicit content on the Web.

“We really want to empower parents,” Cox said. “If nothing else it sends an important message.”

But blocking pornography on 100 percent of devices in the state does absolutely nothing to “empower parents.” There are already programs and filters available to empower parents to block porn on devices and they are free. All this law does, as the ACLU of Utah put it “infringes upon the general public’s First Amendment rights to freely access the internet.”

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Paris Hilton Testifies on Abduction as a Child, Placement in Facility, Torture and Sex Abuse

Paris Hilton made a surprise appearance at the Utah State Legislature on Monday to testify in favor of a new bill that regulates so-called “troubled teen” facilities. Her testimony was nothing short of horrifying as it detailed rampant torture and sexual abuse of children in these facilities — of which she was a part.

“My name is Paris Hilton. I’m an institutional abuse survivor,” she said.

Utah is considering a new piece of legislation that would attempt to prevent such horrifying abuses from happening in the future and Hilton was there in support of it.  Senate Bill 127 would put these facilities that deal with youth who are facing addiction, behavioral and other issues under more oversight, including regular reports to the state on how they utilize restraints.

Currently, these centers are not subject to any spot inspections and do not have to report when they restrain a child, use a chemical restraint, or otherwise abuse the children. Under the current law in Utah, this lack of oversight allows abuses like the ones faced by Hilton to go unchecked.

In her emotional testimony, Hilton described her abuse, starting with her being abducted in the middle of the night from her home. She was essentially kidnapped and then flown to Utah and placed in multiple “troubled teen” facilities at which the abuse occurred. In some of these places she was kept in solitary confinement for days on end.

“That small room covered in scratch marks and smeared blood with no bathroom is one of the most vivid and traumatizing memories I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,” she said. “Children were restrained, hit, thrown into walls, strangled and sexually abused regularly at Provo.”

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