was an Mormon church member; in 2002, Gillen was convicted of sexual assault of a 6-year-old and sentenced to eight years in prison in Colorado; in 2016, arrested and charged again with child sex abuse, but case was dimissed

Case Summary

Martin Gillen was a Mormon church member in Nevada. He was convicted of child sexual abuse.

  1. Sex offender-turned-Mormon home school teacher stabs himself after he's busted again for molestation
    view source details | 27 Oct 2016 | Raw Story
  2. Former Mormon home teacher held on $520K bail in child lewdness case
    view source details | 2 Nov 2016 | Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sources excerpts
  • Sex offender-turned-Mormon home school teacher stabs himself after he's busted again for molestation
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Raw Story
    Date published/accessed: 27 Oct 2016
    archive 1 | archive 2

    A Mormon church-sanctioned home school teacher attempted to kill himself after he was arrested a second time on child sex crime charges.

    Martin Gillen stabbed himself in the throat as Nevada police tried to arrest him in August at his Henderson home on a charge of lewdness with a child, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

    The 43-year-old Gillen, who was a convicted sex offender, had been working as a home school teacher through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was accused of fondling a 10-year-old girl at her home, prosecutors said.

    Gillen was indicted Wednesday on four more felony charges: first-degree kidnapping, child abuse, neglect or endangerment, use of a minor in producing pornography and burglary.

    If he's convicted, Gillen faces a possible life term in prison without the possibility of parole.

    Gillen, who was convicted in 2002 of sexual assault of a child and sentenced to eight years in prison, remains free on $100,000 bond.

    A teenage employee at Gillen's previous job as manager of a Colorado skating rink reported finding him photographing a partially nude 6-year-old girl in a restroom.

    The child told authorities that Gillen had molested her on multiple occasions.

    After he was released from prison, Gillen moved to the Las Vegas area and got a job through the Mormon church teaching Scripture lessons in family homes.

    Investigators said he produced pornographic images of a girl whose family he had befriended and molested her.

    Authorities are concerned Gillen may have victimized other children.

    Church officials in Las Vegas referred the Review-Journal to an office in Utah, but Mormon representatives have not yet commented on the case.

    Gillen, who told police he tried to kill himself to avoid going back to prison, was hospitalized for his injuries but recovered.

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    Former Mormon home teacher held on $520K bail in child lewdness case
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Las Vegas Review-Journal
    Date published/accessed: 2 Nov 2016
    archive 1 | archive 2

    She clutched her husband’s hand as they sat in the gallery of a Clark County courtroom Wednesday and watched as the man accused of fondling their 10-year-old daughter pleaded not guilty.

    They had considered Martin Gillen a friend, a man they met through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through which he served as a home teacher.

    Gillen “was welcomed into people’s homes under the guise of being a devoutly religious man,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Dena Rinetti wrote in court papers. “He befriends parents and then victimizes their children.”

    According to the church’s website, home teachers visit their assigned families at least once a month and “establish a relationship of trust with these families so that the families can call upon them in times of need.”

    Gillen, who had been free on $10,000 bail, was booked Wednesday into the Clark County Detention Center after District Judge William Kephart raised his bail to $520,000.

    The 43-year-old defendant faces five felony counts that could send him to prison for life without the possibility of parole: first-degree kidnapping, child abuse, neglect or endangerment with substantial bodily harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, lewdness with a child under 14, use of a minor in the production of pornography, and burglary.

    A marshal handcuffed Gillen, wearing a light blue button-down shirt and khakis, and directed him to sit alongside inmates dressed in jail clothing.

    “I felt some sense of relief for my family and potential victims,” the girl’s father later told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I felt good. He’s where he belongs. I felt bad for feeling that. I felt bad for wanting him in jail. But that’s where he needs to be. I feel guilty about some unkind feelings I may have had.”

    The Review-Journal is withholding the Henderson family’s name to protect the child’s identity.

    Outside of court, the girl’s father struggled with how his “unbelievable amount of trust” and friendship had been violated.

    “He really was my friend, at least from my perspective,” the man said.

    Prosecutors said that after Gillen was fired from a sales managing job last year, his former employers found child pornography on the laptop he had been loaned.

    Rinetti called him “an extreme danger to the community.”

    Defense attorney Robert Draskovitch called the allegations an attempt to “invent felony counts” and “manipulate bail.”

    In mid-August, Gillen told the girl he wanted to take pictures of her for a “scavenger hunt” and asked her to go to the family’s casita, according to prosecutors. He told her to wear a skirt and T-shirt and suck on a Popsicle and candy. He tried to get the girl to change in front of him, prosecutors said, but she insisted on changing in a bathroom.

    He lowered his hands down the girl’s back, spanked her and told her, “It’s our little secret,” according to prosecutors.

    Her parents called Henderson police later that day.

    It wasn’t the first time Gillen faced sexual allegations involving a child.

    In 2002, Gillen was convicted of sexual assault with a 6-year-old and sentenced to eight years behind bars in Colorado. Sometime after being released from prison, Gillen moved to Southern Nevada.

    The Henderson girl’s father said he knew nothing about Gillen’s past conviction, and a church spokesman said he did not know whether Gillen had an annotation on his church record.

    “I cannot believe for one second that if they believed my family was at risk, they would have put my family in proximity with Martin,” he said. “If the church knew anything about his previous indiscretions, I am 100 percent confident they would have taken appropriate measures to protect my family.”

    Gillen was attending church in another ward when he reached out to the girl’s family in August, saying he needed to borrow a ladder.

    The girl’s father said Gillen often helped others within the church’s Las Vegas Valley community.

    “We asked him for help, and he gave help freely,” he said. “There’s a lot of good Martin did for people. There’s definitely two sides to him. … Was that service just to get close to people? I don’t think that all of it was. I think that deep down Martin genuinely cares.”

    He said his daughter sobbed on her bed as she described the abuse.

    Prosecutors later showed him a picture found in Gillen’s possession. The photograph shows the girl in a bathing suit. Her father believes the photo was taken while other family members were nearby.

    “It’s hard not to blame yourself,” he said. “It’s hard not to think, ‘What more could I have done?’ Maybe if I had been a better friend I would have recognized the signs on what was going on in his life.”

    He said his faith has not been shaken and church leaders, along with fellow members of his congregation, have been helping his family get through the criminal proceedings.

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