was an LDS church member in Anaheim, California; accused in 1986 of sexual abuse of seven boys; pleaded guilty to abusing six of them; was scheduled to receive a 30-year sentence

Case Summary

Steven Paris was a Mormon church member and airport shuttle bus driver from Anaheim, California.

He was arrested Aug. 11, 1986 and accused of engaging in sodomy and oral copulation with seven boys, ages 5 to 11, from his neighborhood, church and family since 1982.

Sources
  1. Anaheim: Bishop Cleared in Abuse-Reporting Case
    view source details | 11 Sep 1986 | Los Angeles Times
  2. Shuttle Bus Driver Pleads Guilty to Molesting 6 Boys
    view source details | 29 Oct 1986 | Los Angeles Times
Sources excerpts
  • Anaheim: Bishop Cleared in Abuse-Reporting Case
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Los Angeles Times
    Date published/accessed: 11 Sep 1986
    archive 1 | archive 2

    A Mormon bishop in Anaheim has been cleared of any wrongdoing for failing to tell police one of his parishioners had been accused of molesting young boys, a city prosecutor said Wednesday.

    Assistant City Atty. Mark A. Logan said he decided late last week that the state child-abuse reporting law does not apply in regard to Bishop Victor Orvis because he does not work directly and routinely with children in an official capacity.

    “The law is very specific,” Logan said. “It applies to only certain individuals--only those people involved in supervising, counseling or caring for children such as those at schools and hospitals.”
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    Orvis, bishop of the Church of Latter-day Saints Anaheim First Ward, said Wednesday, “I never expected there to be any other outcome. . . . There never was any question that the law did not apply here. It was the only appropriate outcome.”

    Police began an investigation of Orvis last month, based on reports that he had learned of allegations involving one of his parishioners, Steven Paris, 34, but failed to report them to law enforcement authorities.

    A state child-abuse law requires teachers, doctors, counselors and others who work with children to report any allegations of child abuse to “appropriate authorities” immediately by telephone and within 36 hours in writing.

    Failing to report child abuse allegations is a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Although clergy members are not listed specifically in the law, legal officials have said those who work directly with children are subject to the reporting requirement.

    Orvis said Wednesday that he reported the allegations to the Orange County Child Abuse Registry after attempting to investigate the matter among the parties involved.

    Grant L. Hubbard, stakes president for the Anaheim church, said he was “pleased” that city officials announced their decision but criticized police officers for “acting quite improperly” in conducting the investigation in the first place.

    “The impression one gets is that it was just some very poor judgment of officers involved,” Hubbard said. “Hopefully people will understand that we never were worried about any prosecution because the law is just crystal clear on this subject.

    “And in fact he did report it. There was no delay or cover-up or wrongdoing of any kind.”

    Paris, an active Mormon church member and airport-shuttle bus driver from Anaheim, was arrested Aug. 11 and accused of engaging in sodomy and oral copulation with seven boys, ages 5 to 11, from his neighborhood, church and family since 1982.

    He has pleaded not guilty to 71 felony counts of child molestation and is to return to court Sept. 26 for a pretrial hearing.

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    Shuttle Bus Driver Pleads Guilty to Molesting 6 Boys
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Los Angeles Times
    Date published/accessed: 29 Oct 1986
    archive 1 | archive 2

    An Anaheim shuttle bus driver, who said he wanted to spare his victims the trauma of testifying at his trial, pleaded guilty in North Municipal Court on Tuesday to 49 counts of sexually molesting six young boys.

    Steven Paris, 34, is scheduled to receive a 30-year sentence, Deputy Dist. Atty. Kathleen M. Kendle said.

    Paris, who is a Neighborhood Watch participant with no prior criminal record, pleaded guilty to molesting his son, 5; two stepsons, 11 and 13, and three neighborhood boys, 9, 10 and 13. The molestations of his sons had been going on for seven years, Kendle said. The molestations of the neighborhood boys began about two years ago, she said.

    Paris was arrested last August after the molestations had been reported to officials at a Mormon church where Paris and some of the victims’ families are members.

    “One of the boys told a baby sitter, who told her parents, who told their ward bishop,” Kendle said. “A neighbor woman whose children are not involved at all heard about their going to the church, and she told the mother of one of the victims, who reported it to police.”

    The district attorney’s office investigated whether the ward bishop had been guilty of failing to report the accusations to police, but Kendle said her office decided that the bishop was not legally bound to file a police report.

    If Paris had gone to trial and been convicted, he would have faced a possible 104-year sentence. He originally was charged with 71 counts involving seven victims.

    Kendle said she agreed to pursue only 49 counts after discussions with all the victims. Superior Court Judge James J. Alfano has indicated that he would favor a 30-year sentence for the guilty plea, she said. Paris is scheduled to appear in Superior Court for formal sentencing on Nov. 10.

    Kendle said she is satisfied with the 30-year sentence.

    “It is reasonable in order to spare the children having to testify,” Kendle said.

    All six victims are now in counseling programs and are doing well, Kendle said.

    Kendle described Paris as “a classic pedophile” who coerced the neighborhood boys into having sex with him by gradually getting them used to nudity when they would visit his sons. Then, she said, he would get them to watch pornographic films at the home.

    Paris is married, but the molestations apparently took place while his wife was at work, Kendle said.

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.