was a Mormon stake president in Butte, Montana; from Dillon, Montana; arrested in June 2004 by Boise, Idaho police for soliciting sex from a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl online; was stake president at the time of his arrest; pleaded guilty in October to a charge of interstate travel with intent to have sex with a minor; sentenced in 2005 to three years and five months in prison

Case Summary

Clayton Hildreth, an LDS stake president, was arrested in June 2005 for allegedly soliciting sex with a 14 year old girl. The 52-year-old Hildreth claimed to have had sex with other girls.

Hildreth served as president of the Mormon church’s Butte, Montana stake from November 2001 until the time of his arrest in June 2005.

A 2004 news report said Hildreth “allegedly corresponded with Boise police detectives over the internet in an online chat room. The detectives posed as a 14-year-old girl. Over that time, Hildreth allegedly sent explicit videos of himself and claimed to have had sexual relations with other girls.”

As of 2023, Hildreth is a registered sex offender. He lives in Dillon, Montana.

from the Butte, Montana Standard on 2005-02-17:

“Clayton R. Hildreth of Dillon
Former Mormon stake president sentenced for online sex soliciting

“BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A former Mormon stake president from Dillon was sentenced to three years and five months in prison for soliciting someone he believed to be a teenage girl for sex on the Internet and then traveling to Boise to meet her.

“U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge sentenced Clayton R. Hildreth, 52, on Tuesday. Hildreth pleaded guilty in October to a charge of interstate travel with intent to have sex with a minor.

“Lodge also ordered Hildreth to serve seven years of supervised release after he leaves prison. Lodge said he hopes the aftermath of Hildreth’s ‘dark side’ will stop others from committing similar crimes.

“During the sentencing hearing, prosecuting attorney Jim Peters reminded the court that Hildreth ‘portrayed himself as a community leader, a father figure of his church who stood before congregations and preached about living a virtuous life. At the same time, he pursued the thrill of sexual gratification at the expense of a child, without regard for the effect that might have on the child or the people in his community who looked to him for leadership.’

“Hildreth’s wife, [Jane Doe], two sons, father and a longtime friend urged the judge to be lenient with his sentence, saying what he did was out of character, according to an article in The Idaho Statesman newspaper.

“People cried as they spoke and tearfully hung their heads as they listened to the court proceedings. Hildreth’s wife said there were signs something was wrong with her husband, but no one knew what troubled him.

“‘I never thought in the 30 years I’ve lived with this man he would have done what he did,’ she said.

“Hildreth told Lodge that he gets sick when he reads what he wrote during his Internet chats with who he believed was a 14-year-old girl. He cried and often struggled to speak about what he called ‘a nightmare that won’t go away,’ according to the Statesman article.

“Hildreth was excommunicated from his church after his arrest. He was the stake president of the Butte chapter of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time of his arrest.

“‘I want you to know I have no compulsions to go back to the way I was before,’ Hildreth said. ‘I’m afraid of it.’

“Prosecutors said in May 2004, Hildreth, using the screen name ‘Sexy Montana Gentleman,’ started an Internet relationship with an undercover Boise police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl. Hildreth moved the conversations from a public chat room to private instant messaging and initiated discussions of sex.

“During more than a dozen instant messaging sessions over the next six weeks, Hildreth talked about his previous encounters with young girls. He told the victim he was 39 years old and made arrangements to meet the victim. On two occasions he sent her live, sexually explicit images of himself.

“On June 23, Hildreth drove to Boise and appeared at what he believed was the girl’s stepmother’s home, at a time of day when he believed the stepmother would be at work. Prosecutors said he was carrying three condoms, a gift of thong underwear and a digital camera.

“He was arrested by Boise police.”

Sources
  1. Clayton Hildreth's brother, sex convict Grant Hildreth
    view source details | 1 Dec 2022 | FLOODLIT.org
  2. New stake presidencies
    view source details | 29 Dec 2001 | Church News
  3. Former Mormon stake president sentenced for online sex soliciting
    view source details | 17 Feb 2005 | Butte, Montana Standard
  4. Clayton Ray Hildreth of Montana
    view source details | 1 Dec 2022 | OffenderRadar.com
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.