was a Mormon church member in Ogden, Utah; accused of sexually abusing five underage girls; sentenced in 2010 to prison

Case Summary

This case arose in 2007 in Ogden, Utah.

Former LDS youth leader Cory Campbell, an LDS youth leader, was accused of molesting five girls ages 14 and 15. He was booked on “three counts of forcible sex abuse.” “Authorities believe there may be more victims. One victim reported that the molestation began in January 2007 through much of 2009. Campbell served as an LDS Young Men’s leader.”

  1. Former LDS youth leader sentenced in sex abuse case
    view source details | 16 Dec 2010 | Ogden Standard-Examiner
Sources excerpts
  • Former LDS youth leader sentenced in sex abuse case
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Ogden Standard-Examiner
    Date published/accessed: 16 Dec 2010
    archive 1 | archive 2

    OGDEN -- While the defense tried to argue that his offenses were not sexually motivated, the prosecution called Cory Clyde Campbell a spider waiting on his victims at slumber parties.

    The dueling scenarios came before a packed courtroom at his sentencing with as many supporters of Campbell on hand as there were for his four victims.

    "There needs to be a message sent to this community," Deputy Weber County Attorney Bill Daines urged Judge Michael Lyon, gesturing toward the windows that look out over Ogden from the fourth floor of the 2nd District Courthouse.

    "Tell this community that if you commit these despicable acts, plan not to live in this community again."

    Daines called Campbell "a spider sitting on a web waiting on his victims ... He didn't hesitate to go after them in the darkness of his own home.

    "They didn't know what to do or how to react because they'd been told this was a good family where teenage girls could be safe."

    Campbell was charged in February and March of this year with multiple counts of forcible sexual abuse for illicit touching of three girls ages 14 and 15 over a nine-month period in 2009, most often while they were attending slumber parties as friends of Campbell's stepdaughter at his home.

    A fourth victim endured sexual episodes short of intercourse from January 2007 through much of 2009, according to court documents. Her case was originally charged as a first-degree felony, later reduced to another second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse in Campbell's plea bargain in October.

    A fifth young woman came forward after widespread publicity from Campbell's arrest in February. But evidence never developed to the point charges could be filed, Weber County Sheriff's Lt. John Murrow, the lead investigator, said Thursday.

    The sheriff's office initially said the investigation was looking into whether Campbell used his position as a youth leader in his Farr West LDS ward to access victims, but found no basis to make that allegation. A church spokesman nonetheless issued a statement at the time that Campbell had been released from any church position at the outset of the investigation and before charges were filed.

    Three of the four victims tearfully addressed the judge Thursday, speaking after Campbell tearfully apologized to them.

    "I should never have done what I did to you," said Campbell, 38, stressing they needn't blame themselves. "I do not deserve to be forgiven by you ... I am on my knees every night before God, praying for you."

    "I leave behind a loving wife and three loving sons and a 5-year-old daughter," said Campbell, who walked into the courtroom arm-in-arm with his wife.

    "Whenever anyone is nice to me, I wonder what they want from me," said one victim who pondered if she could ever trust a man enough to marry.

    "Now I'm scared of my friends' dads," said another, who reported panic attacks, headaches and nightmares from her abuse.

    The third victim said, "I can't trust anyone."

    "Let me assure, you not all men are like Mr. Campbell," Lyon told them in announcing sentence.

    Daines had asked for three consecutive one-to-15-year prison terms, while Campbell's attorney Sean Druyon argued for a year in the county jail. Lyon came down somewhere in between, ordering the three prison terms, but to be served concurrently. Campbell was taken into custody immediately, handcuffed in open court.

    "I and my client acknowledge there has been some significant harm that the victims and their families will have to deal with for years," Druyon had begun in arguing for leniency.

    Campbell volunteered for sex offender therapy the same month he was arrested, he said, his therapist providing the judge with a letter about his progress.

    A psychosexual evaluation Campbell paid for himself found his crimes "not sexually driven," Druyon said, "but the result of social feelings of inadequacy ... to fulfill a bond of love, but in an inappropriate manner."

    Campbell was found to be "not motivated by sexual arousal, but by interpersonal problems in how he relates to people," Druyon said, noting both mental health professionals found Campbell "a low sexual risk to re-offend" and not a pedophile.

    But Daines said it's easy to find psychological examinations to go either way with a criminal's state of mind.

    "You can find a psychologist to ameliorate anything ... So he's not a pedophile. Big deal. So he goes after young teenage girls instead."

Mormon Sexual Abuse Map

International map of locations where active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perpetrated or allegedly perpetrated sexual abuse or other sex crimes, or where LDS leaders failed or allegedly failed to help abuse survivors.