was a Mormon primary teacher in Utah; pleaded guilty to sexually abusing children

Aaron Montoya Case Summary

01/01/03 Syracuse, Utah

LDS Aaron Marcos Montoya “primary teacher” molested six different victims ages 3-11 . Some of the children were molested during Primary Class at the LDS Church. Montoya pleads guilty. “Montoya was found “guilty of four counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child.” ” Montoya has subsequently pleaded guilty to additional charges involving the sexual
molestation of six different victims ranging in age from three to eleven.”

from the Salt Lake Tribune on 2004-12-23:

“LDS Primary teacher accused of fondling young girls
By Matt Canham
The Salt Lake Tribune
· December 23, 2004 12:54 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2004, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A gospel teacher at a Mormon ward in Syracuse allegedly fondled four young girls, some of them while they were praying or coloring religious pictures in his class.

Aaron Marcos Montoya, 32, of Syracuse, is charged in Farmington’s 2nd District Court with five counts of aggravated sexual abuse, a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.

On Wednesday, Montoya, who was booked into the Davis County Jail on Tuesday, appeared in Farmington’s 2nd District Court, where bail was set at $100,000.

Montoya works as a bailiff at the Scott M. Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, which provides security to the building, has placed Montoya on paid administrative leave.

A week ago, one of the girls reported the alleged fondling to her parents, who contacted police, said Syracuse Police Sgt. Mark Sessions. Investigators located two other girls with similar accusations the next day.

Police arrested Montoya late Tuesday night, waiting for him to return from a trip to the East Coast, Sessions said. Just hours after his arrest, police identified a fourth potential victim, who claimed Montoya stuck his hand up her skirt at his home while the girl was playing with Montoya’s children. The other four incidents allegedly took place inside a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meeting house in Syracuse in the past month. One of the girls told police she was abused twice.

Two of the alleged victims were 5 years old and two were 6, according to the charges.

In most of the incidents, Montoya allegedly sat behind the girls in Primary class and reached his hand up their skirts. Two of the girls said this happened while they were praying, according to the charges. Montoya had been teaching the class for the past year, Sessions said.

During the short court hearing Wednesday, Montoya said he would be hiring his own attorney. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 5.

The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office learned of the allegations late Tuesday and immediately placed Montoya on leave, said Sgt. Rosie Rivera. Montoya has worked for the Sheriff’s Office since 1995.

Rivera said an internal investigation will be conducted after his court case is resolved.

“We will deal with it on our side, but we don’t want to interfere with the criminal investigation at all,” she said. ”

from KSL on 2005-10-21:

“Montoya Sentenced; Victim Parents Criticize Judge

FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) — A Syracuse man has been received a five years to life sentence for aggravated sexual abuse of a child that is to run consecutively to four similar sentences previously handed down for his inappropriately touching young girls in his Mormon Primary class.

Aaron Marcos Montoya, 33, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child that encompassed six victims over a five-year period. The previous case involved three girls abused last year in his Syracuse Primary class for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2004.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss two charges Montoya faced in Weber County and five of six charges in Davis County in exchange for the guilty plea.

During the hearing, three fathers and one mother of abuse victims spoke directly to Judge Thomas L. Kay, chastising him for his remarks to parents during Montoya’s Sept. 26 sentencing hearing when the judge suggested they not treat their daughters like victims.

“We never once had that desire,” one father said.

Montoya was sentenced to four concurrent terms of five years to life in the first case. The sentenced handed down on Thursday was to be consecutive to the other four, but the actual time served is up to the pardons board.

Montoya’s plea on Thursday involved incidents with six girls ranging in age from 3 to 11 that happened at his home, in his car and at Pineview Reservoir between the summer of 2000 and 2004.

Before Kay sentenced Montoya, 33, of Syracuse, he said being a judge does not mean “putting your finger in the air and see which way the voting public is going. If you do that, you’re not a judge, but a legislator.”

Two of the victims, now in their teens, also spoke at the hearing.

“(Montoya) is a big creep for not admitting it. I hope you go to jail for a long time. I feel so bad for all those poor little girls,” one said while fighting back tears.

The other teenage girl, also fighting tears, said she now wishes she had spoken up sooner so maybe Montoya would not have molested other girls.

Both girls said they have a difficult time being around men because of what Montoya did to them.

In her statement, the mother of one of the teens told Kay, “You added to that pain” by not sentencing Montoya to consecutive sentences in September.

“You gave Aaron the lightest possible sentence. I find that reprehensible,” she said, standing near her daughter.

Kay said the reason he is recommending the latest sentence to run after the other four is because the incidents happened to multiple girls, in different places and over a long period, while the four other incidents happened at the same location during a short period.

Deputy Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said all six remaining victims are accounted for by Montoya’s plea. The current plea and Thursday’s sentencing cannot be appealed, Rawlings said.

Rawlings said Kay did everything right concerning the August trial, even though he did not agree with some of Kay’s decisions. Because of Kay’s decisions, Montoya has little chance of winning an appeal if he appeals the jury verdict, Rawlings said.”

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