was a Mormon church member in Washington; convicted of child sexual abuse and sentenced to prison; released; arrested and charged with sexually abused more children; died by suicide while awaiting trial

Case Summary

Herget lived in the Mountlake Terrace Ward of the Lynnwood, Washington stake, later renamed the Shoreline Stake.

In 1998, Herget raped his own daughter. He was found guilty of child sexual abuse and labeled by the court as a level-1 sex offender.

He was excommunicated from the Mormon Church and then given back his preisthood authority in 2004. Herget’s stake president at that time was Marcus Nash, who later became a General Authority and member of the First Council of the Seventy.

Five months after his re-ordination, Herget was arrested by the Mountlake Terrace Police for 13 counts of child rape. The victims were sons of Mountlake Terrace Ward members, who didn’t know that Herget was a level-1 sex offender and pedophile. Herget was taken to the Snohomish County Jail, where he committed suicide.

09/06/93 Washington

LDS David Herget sexually molested at least 7 boys starting in 2001 event though he was
convicted and served time for sexually abusing a girl in 1993. And even though his
membership records were annotated. In 2001 Herget met the children he would molest
through the LDS Church court papers confirm. One boy stated he was molested over 1400
times.

The following excerpts are from The Herald – Everett, Wash. July 31 , 2005 By Scott North:

“Herget, 62, of Mountlake Terrace carefully groomed the boys, plying them with
pornography and cash, police discovered. He made sure they wouldn’t tell by threatening to
kill himself should the secret ever be revealed.”

“Court papers and interviews confirm that it was through the Mormon church in Mountlake
Terrace that he met the boys he molested.” “The boy’s mother said her heart went out to
the girl Herget molested. The child first disclosed the molestation to her. The woman said
she’d also been abused when she was young. Together, they went to a church leader
Herget admitted the abuse, and police were summoned.

His written confession describes the victim as “young, beguiling and lovely,” and his offense
as a “dastardly deed.” Even so, Herget dawdled in negotiating a guilty plea in the 1993
case, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Paul Stern said. Herget was angry that
authorities had barred him from contact with his own children, who then still lived at home.”

“The court received dozens of letters from church members urging leniency. One was
written by a Seattle police detective who belonged to the congregation. Another came from
the parents of the boy who would later unmask Herget.” “Excommunicated by a Mormon
church tribunal after his conviction, Herget completed the process of penitence, counseling
and introspection that allowed him to rejoin the church.”

“Officials with Herget’s church declined to discuss his case. Instead, they provided papers
describing in general how the church tracks members who have been convicted of sexual
abuse and bars them from work with children. Herget got around that barrier after 2001 by
privately offering assistance as an unofficial volunteer, or by simply being close to the
families of his victims. He offered help on scouting projects and provided rides to sporting
events, police discovered.”

“Mountlake Terrace Police Chief Scott Smith said detectives identified at least seven boys
Herget abused over the years. One boy estimated that at least 1 ,400 acts of abuse
occurred, starting in summer 2001.”

“Herget’s arrest came after three of the boys spoke with police. All related similar stories of
how Herget began trying to molest them when they were young and overcame their
reluctance over time, usually with pornography and money.”

Sources
  1. source 1
    view source details | |
  2. source 2
    view source details | |
  3. source 3
    view source details | |
Sources excerpts

Mormon sex abuse database

 

Add information

Mormon sex crimes map

Places where accused LDS church members lived, committed sex crimes, were arrested, or served prison time.

+Add map marker