was an LDS church member; accused of sexual abuse

Case Summary

1994 – Dallas, Texas

Gene Guinn “was excommunicated by the LDS Church for sexually assaulting at least two children Guinn was sentenced to 68 years in prison. Guinn appealed his case on the grounds that the testimony of Bishop Porter and President Harshaw should be stricken from the record. “Guinn admitted he had sexual contact with a nine-year old girl from his church”

“Guinn confessed he had inappropriately touched other young girls.” He appealed his case but the Court ruled that “In a proceeding regarding the abuse or neglect of a child, evidence may not be excluded on the ground of privileged communication except in the case of communications between an attorney and client.”

from the Dallas Morning News on July 18, 2000:

“A Dallas County jury found a Mormon high priest guilty Tuesday of indecency
with a child for molesting a 10-year-old girl.

Gene A. Guinn, 68, was being tried on a charge of aggravated sexual assault
of a child in connection with the August 1994 incident in her Cedar Hill
home, but jurors convicted him on the lesser indecency charge. The deliberations
took nearly six hours over two days.

Mr. Guinn’s defense attorney argued that the victim, now 16, gave varying
accounts of the incident and that Mr. Guinn never went as far as the girl
most recently alleged.

Mr. Guinn still faces up to life in prison because he has a 1975 conviction
for involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors immediately began presenting punishment-phase testimony from
four other women who said Mr. Guinn had fondled or assaulted them when they
were children. All had met Mr. Guinn through church, including a young woman
whose baptism had been organized by the defendant. Two testified that he
fondled them in a church building on Kiest Boulevard.

Testimony outside the jury’s presence showed that the trial was delayed
for nearly two years while prosecutors and attorneys for local and national
branches of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints battled over
subpoenaed records and testimony.

The church excommunicated Mr. Guinn after he admitted the molestation to
at least two church officials and during a church disciplinary hearing,
according to testimony the jury heard. The judge ordered various church
records turned over to prosecutors.

Also at issue was whether Mr. Guinn was a church official. Prosecutors contend
he was a leader in the church through his position as a high priest and
through his active role in various church deeds. The now 16-year-old victim
and her family testified that they looked up to Mr. Guinn and considered
him a leader in the church.

However, attorneys for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints say
that Mr. Guinn was simply a regular church member. They say that all older
male members of the Mormon church can become high priests and that the title
doesn’t connote clergy duties or mean he was a leader.”

  1. Ex-Mormon leader on trial for sex assault charges
    view source details | 14 Jul 2000 | Austin American-Statesman
  2. Mormon high priest convicted of indecency
    view source details | 18 Jul 2000 | Dallas Morning News
Sources excerpts

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.