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Last known status: 2023-03-06: In prison in Idaho
LDS Stephen R. Young may have abused twenty babies (all family members or children of friends) who were 21 months of age or younger over a 30 year period. “While Young did confess to church leaders and was eventually excommunicated, it wasn’t until after a fellow Boise police officer who attended Young’s church heard of the punishment and spoke to him that Young turned himself in on March 2 — two days after his abrupt retirement from the Police Department, according to Ada County sheriff’s arrest reports. That was about two months after church officials say they first talked to Young about his crimes.”
Did fellow Mormons cover up officer’s baby molestations? Idaho Statesman/December 12, 2010 By Patrick Orr
Idaho case #CR-FE-2010-3837
IDOC #: 97289
Young was a Boise, Idaho police officer from October 1978 until he retired suddenly and unexpectedly on 2010-02-28.
He reportedly confessed to his wife in January 2010. The confession came at the urging of another police officer, Kyle Christensen, who had found out about Young’s reported crimes. That officer attended church with Young and was on the stake high council at the time.
Also reportedly – FLOODLIT is still working on figuring out the timeline – Young confessed his crimes to his wife in August 2009, and moved out of their home in Eagle, Idaho and into an apartment. That’s according to journal entries kept by Young’s wife.
According to her journal in an entry dated January 5, 2010, Young’s wife wrote that he called her to apologize for sexually abusing children. She also wrote about how he might go to jail, lose his job and register as a sex offender. The journal entry says Young “was relying on [the bishop]. He said [the bishop] made a lot of calls to keep him from going to jail.”
However, LDS officials disputed this version of events. Young’s bishop said he had no recollection of making any phone calls on Young’s behalf or making any attempt to keep him from reporting the abuse, according to Randy Austin, a church attorney specializing in child abuse cases, who talked to the bishop.
Allegedly, Young also confessed his sexual abuse to as many as 15 local LDS church leaders in January 2010.
In mid-February 2010, according to sheriff’s reports, an LDS official approached Christensen, the police officer who served on the stake high council, and asked him not to be involved in an upcoming disciplinary hearing because he was bound by duty to report crimes. The official reportedly did not tell Christensen whom or what the hearing was about. The night of the hearing, Christensen saw Young at the church and figured Young was being disciplined.
Young was excommunicated at that time.
About a week later, Christensen learned Young had been excommunicated and that LDS church officials had advised Young to get a lawyer because what he did could land him in jail. Christensen called Young to offer his support. Young confessed to Christensen that he had molested small children. He told Christensen he didn’t have the courage to turn himself in and that he was afraid of going to prison.
On March 2, 2010, Young went with Christensen and turned himself in to sheriff’s detectives, after Christensen reported their previous conversation to LDS officials and they told Christensen to tell Young to turn himself in, or they would begin their own criminal investigation.
About two months between Young’s alleged first confession to Mormon church officials and his turning himself in on March 2, 2010. During January and February, he continued working as a police officer.
Reportedly, Mormon leaders urged Young and his wife to tell police what had happened. Randy Austin later said this was all they could legally do until he turned himself in.
Young initially pleaded not guilty in court in early 2010.
In June 2010 in court, Young admitted to molesting a toddler who was between 14 and 18 months old in June 2006.
Young and his wife appear to have divorced prior to 2020.
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LDS church response(s)Add info | Back to top
- Alleged failure to report by local LDS leaders? yes
- Alleged misconduct by local LDS leaders? unknown
- Alleged misconduct by global LDS leaders? unknown
FLOODLIT is not aware whether the Mormon church paid any settlement amounts related to this case.