was a Mormon church member and leader of an LDS church radio program in Utah; found guilty of child sexual abuse

Case Summary

Gerry Pond was a Mormon church spokesman in the 1990s.

He groomed and sexually assaulted an underage girl while serving as the host and executive producer of “Times and Seasons”, a public affairs program of the LDS Church, broadcast nationally and overseas. The program focused on moral and social issues, including child abuse.

Pond groomed an 11-year-old girl, eventually photographing her nude and molesting her at age 13. He received a plea bargain which was criticized in the press for being too lenient. The bargain was considered special treatment because of his position and connections.

A newspaper article from March 2, 1997 discusses the plaintiff’s attempts to obtain discovery of the prosecutor’s file in the Pond case and the resistance put up by the Salt Lake City District Attorneys’ office to the civil subpoena.

— from the Salt Lake Tribune on 1996-11-23:

“Former Mormon Church spokesman and radio host Lloyd Gerald Pond pleaded guilty Friday to child sexual abuse involving a 14-year-old girl.

Pond, who hosted the weekly radio program “Times and Seasons” for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also made a tearful apology.

“I alone am responsible for this situation,” Pond told reporters. “I want to apologize to the victim and her family, and to the LDS Church and the community.” He stressed there was no relation between his crimes and the Mormon Church.

“I apologize for my conduct and hope I can get the help I need,” Pond added.

Pond, 51, has resigned as a church employee. Meanwhile, church officials have pulled Pond’s radio programs from more than 600 radio stations nationwide. The programs dealt with a variety of social issues, including the evils of child abuse, addiction and pornography.

Police say that during a Nov. 6 “modeling session,” Pond forced himself on the girl at Trinity Broadcasting Network Station, 6475 W. 5400 South, West Valley City, where he worked nights as a technician.

He took pictures of the girl in her underwear, telling her it was art, police said. Then he forced her into performing oral sex on him. The girl was so upset that she told her school counselor, who called police.

Last week, Pond was charged with two counts of first-degree felony forcible sodomy. But in a quickly negotiated plea deal, he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse.

Prosecutor James Cope said the plea bargain will prevent the victim from becoming “an item of publicity at the age of 14.”

Pond could be sent to prison for up to 15 years when he is sentenced Feb. 3 by Judge Robert K. Hilder. But prosecutors will not oppose probation if a psychological evaluation shows Pond’s relationship with the victim is an isolated incident.

“We want to find out what it is that made him do this,” Cope said.

If it appears Pond’s conduct was prompted by a midlife crisis, probation and counseling may be in order, Cope said. But if Pond is a pedophile who has abused other victims, he should go to prison, he said.

On Thursday, police searched Pond’s home, and earlier the radio station, but found nothing. Cope believes, however, that Pond may have a hidden stash of pornography.

“In almost every case of this kind I’ve seen, they have a cache of this stuff,” Cope said. “If he’s got something, I hope he has enough conscience and good grace to deliver it” to police.

Pond met the victim at their West Valley LDS ward when she was 11, and agreed to help her with a radio and modeling career, according to police.

Every Wednesday for three years, the girl and Pond went to the radio station, where she modeled [clothing and underwear], police said. Pond also instructed the girl to record sexually explicit audiotapes which he told her were to be sold out of state or used on a phone-sex line. For phoning the station and uttering obscene phrases, Pond paid the girl $10 a call.

Pond also befriended the girl’s mother, who apparently trusted him enough because of his position with the church to send her daughter with him. On some occasions, however, the victim’s younger sister went along. She was not a victim.

Pond is free on $20,000 bond. He must report daily to authorities and avoid contact with anyone under 18, except his children.”

Sources
  1. Ex-LDS spokesman guilty of sex abuse
    view source details | 23 Nov 1996 | Salt Lake Tribune
  2. Radio host admits sex abuse
    view source details | 23 Nov 1996 | Santa Cruz Sentinel
  3. Mormon official pleads guilty to molesting girl
    view source details | 23 Nov 1996 | Orlando Sentinel
  4. Pond gets prison time for sex abuse of girl
    view source details | 4 Feb 1997 | Deseret News
  5. source 5
    view source details | |
Sources excerpts
  • Ex-LDS spokesman guilty of sex abuse
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Salt Lake Tribune
    Date published/accessed: 23 Nov 1996
    archive 1 | archive 2
  • back to online sources list
    Radio host admits sex abuse
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Santa Cruz Sentinel
    Date published/accessed: 23 Nov 1996
    archive 1 | archive 2
  • back to online sources list
    Mormon official pleads guilty to molesting girl
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Orlando Sentinel
    Date published/accessed: 23 Nov 1996
    archive 1 | archive 2
  • back to online sources list
    Pond gets prison time for sex abuse of girl
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Deseret News
    Date published/accessed: 4 Feb 1997
    archive 1 | archive 2
  • back to online sources list
    source 5
    Source type: News article
    Publisher:
    Date published/accessed:
    archive 1 | archive 2

    -- from the Salt Lake Tribune on 1996-11-23:

    "Former Mormon Church spokesman and radio host Lloyd Gerald Pond pleaded guilty Friday to child sexual abuse involving a 14-year-old girl.

    Pond, who hosted the weekly radio program "Times and Seasons" for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also made a tearful apology.

    "I alone am responsible for this situation," Pond told reporters. "I want to apologize to the victim and her family, and to the LDS Church and the community." He stressed there was no relation between his crimes and the Mormon Church.

    "I apologize for my conduct and hope I can get the help I need," Pond added.

    Pond, 51, has resigned as a church employee. Meanwhile, church officials have pulled Pond's radio programs from more than 600 radio stations nationwide. The programs dealt with a variety of social issues, including the evils of child abuse, addiction and pornography.

    Police say that during a Nov. 6 "modeling session," Pond forced himself on the girl at Trinity Broadcasting Network Station, 6475 W. 5400 South, West Valley City, where he worked nights as a technician.

    He took pictures of the girl in her underwear, telling her it was art, police said. Then he forced her into performing oral sex on him. The girl was so upset that she told her school counselor, who called police.

    Last week, Pond was charged with two counts of first-degree felony forcible sodomy. But in a quickly negotiated plea deal, he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse.

    Prosecutor James Cope said the plea bargain will prevent the victim from becoming "an item of publicity at the age of 14."

    Pond could be sent to prison for up to 15 years when he is sentenced Feb. 3 by Judge Robert K. Hilder. But prosecutors will not oppose probation if a psychological evaluation shows Pond's relationship with the victim is an isolated incident.

    "We want to find out what it is that made him do this," Cope said.

    If it appears Pond's conduct was prompted by a midlife crisis, probation and counseling may be in order, Cope said. But if Pond is a pedophile who has abused other victims, he should go to prison, he said.

    On Thursday, police searched Pond's home, and earlier the radio station, but found nothing. Cope believes, however, that Pond may have a hidden stash of pornography.

    "In almost every case of this kind I've seen, they have a cache of this stuff," Cope said. "If he's got something, I hope he has enough conscience and good grace to deliver it" to police.

    Pond met the victim at their West Valley LDS ward when she was 11, and agreed to help her with a radio and modeling career, according to police.

    Every Wednesday for three years, the girl and Pond went to the radio station, where she modeled lingerie, bikini swimsuits, bras and panties, police said. Pond also instructed the girl to record sexually explicit audiotapes which he told her were to be sold out of state or used on a phone-sex line. For phoning the station and uttering obscene phrases, Pond paid the girl $10 a call.

    Pond also befriended the girl's mother, who apparently trusted him enough because of his position with the church to send her daughter with him. On some occasions, however, the victim's younger sister went along. She was not a victim.

    Pond is free on $20,000 bond. He must report daily to authorities and avoid contact with anyone under 18, except his children."

Images: Lloyd Pond LDS sex crime case

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.