was a former Mormon bishop in California; sentenced to prison in 2013 for child sexual abuse

Todd Edwards Case Summary

This case arose in 2006 in California.

Todd Mitchell Edwards, a bishop of the Menifee Ward in the Riverside, California area, was charged with sexually assaulting two teen girls.

Edwards was arrested and charged with 3 felonies – sexual battery, sexual penetration with a foreign object and witness intimidation.

According to the Riverside County district attorney’s office, said the victims attended Edwards’ church and that he was friends with the families of both girls.

Investigators identified a possible third victim but the statute of limitations on filing criminal charges had run out on that case

from Menifee 24/7 on 2013-11-13:

“Former Menifee Mormon Bishop Pleads Guilty to Sex Crimes

Story updated at 3 p.m. with new statement from church official and correcting Edwards’ current state of residence to Nevada.

A former Mormon bishop serving in Menifee pleaded guilty today to two felony sex crimes involving teenage girls who attended his church. He will serve three years in prison.

Todd M. Edwards, 49, entered the guilty pleas as part of an agreement. The first count, sexual penetration with a foreign object with force and against the victim’s will, is a felony and strike. The second count, sexual battery, also is a felony.

Judge Becky L. Dugan said the first count carries with it a strike because of the severity of the crime. Edwards remains free on $65,000 cash bail until he returns to court on Dec. 11 to be remanded into custody. If he doesn’t appear on that date, a bench warrant will be served, the agreement will be null and void, and Edwards could serve nine years per count.

Edwards declined comment. He must register as a sex offender for life.

Edwards, who currently resides in Nevada, was released as bishop of the Menifee Ward after church officials learned of the investigation in 2012. He was arrested at his Murrieta residence May 28, 2013 following an investigation into allegations of sexual crimes in November 2006 and February 2012.

According to the police incident report, the 2006 incident involved a 16-year-old girl. The victim in the 2012 incident was 18 at the time. Both girls attended the Menifee Ward, according to police documents. Edwards was not serving as bishop at the time of the 2006 incident.

George Kramer, a spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, released the following statement today on behalf of the LDS Church:

“We are very saddened by the news surrounding the admission of sexual abuse by Todd Mitchell Edwards, 49, of Murrieta, CA. As the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has zero-tolerance for any such conduct, we fully support the legal proceedings surrounding Mr. Edwards’ criminal prosecution and subsequent conviction. Our primary concern is for the physical, emotional and spiritual well being of the victims involved.” ”

from Crew Janci:

“”A former Riverside California Mormon bishop has pled guilty to two counts of the sexual abuse of minors in a plea agreement with prosecutors. Todd Mitchell Edwards, 49 was charged with sexual battery and sexual penetration with a foreign object. In addition to prison time, Edwards will have to register as a sex offender in the state of California. According to the LA Times, “The assaults happened in November 2006, according to the criminal complaint. He was initially charged with a third count, related to an attempt to dissuade one of the victims from reporting the crime to authorities, but that charge will be dismissed as part of the agreement, prosecutors said. Edwards held the rank of bishop in the Menifee ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

from :

“Former Mormon bishop charged with sexually assaulting teen girls
By ABC7
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
RIVERSIDE, Calif.

The suspect has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He apparently met the two teens while he was at the church.

Murrieta resident Todd Mitchell Edwards, 49, is accused of sexually assaulting two teenage girls who reportedly went to the church where he was a bishop at one time. Edwards has pleaded not guilty to all charges. If convicted he faces up to nine years in prison. He remained incarcerated Tuesday on $65,000 bail.

“He’s been charged with three felony counts, one of sexual penetration with a foreign object by force,” said John Hall, a Riverside County District Attorney spokesman.

Hall says the victim in that incident was a child, and it happened last year. He says the second victim was 18 at the time, and that incident happened in 2006.

“The defendant and both victim in this case all attended the same church,” said Hall.

People leaving the church Tuesday told Eyewitness News they couldn’t comment on the allegations, but we did get this statement: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind. Anyone who abuses a child is rightfully subject to both criminal prosecution and formal Church discipline,” said George Kramer, Menifee Public Affairs.

The district attorney’s office says it’s possible there could be other victims.

“In any of these types of cases, there’s always that possibility, and so if anyone believes that they may have been a victim of this defendant, Todd Edwards, we would encourage them to contact their local law enforcement agency,” said Hall.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said they investigated a third case of alleged sexual assault, but the statute of limitations had expired.”

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