was a longtime employee and vice president of an LDS church-owned trust company in Utah; charged in 2020 with 13 second degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor (related to possession of child pornography); admitted that he viewed child pornography 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes over a 3-4 year span; in 2021, pleaded guilty to three of those counts; in 2023, violated probation

Case Summary

Elwood Haws, AKA E.Bruce Haws, was a longtime employee and vice president of Deseret Trust, an LDS church-owned trust company in Utah.

In 2007, Haws received the highest award given by the LDS Business College – the Distinguished Alumnus Award. He graduated from there in 1973.

On June 23, 2020, Haws was charged with 13 second degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor (related to possession of child pornography).

E. Bruce Haws viewed child pornography for between 234 and 416 total hours over a 3-4 year span, by his own admission

From a probable cause statement dated 2020-06-23 and obtained by FLOODLIT thanks to your donations:


Utah
COUNT I
SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF A MINOR, a Second Degree Felony, in violation of
Code Ann. §76-5b-201, as follows:
Between, on or about September 4, 2018
, and January 29,
2020, in Salt Lake County, State of Utah, the defendant, ELWOOD HAWS, a party to the offense, knowingly produced, possessed or possessed with intent to distribute, child pornography or intentionally distributed or viewed child pornography”

2020-06-23 – E. Bruce Haws bail reduced by judge

On June 30, 2020, Haws requested that his bail be reduced from $200,000 to $25,000. The court granted his request that same day.

Haws’s request stated in part:

“Mr. Haws is 69 years old. He was born in Provo, Utah and has lived in Utah his entire life. He graduated from Provo High in 1969 and in 1982 received an accounting degree from University of Utah. Mr. Haws was gainfully employed as a trust administrator for 18 years– he is currently retired. He has been married to his wife for 47 years and has lived in his current residence since 2001. He owns his home outright. He has no prior criminal record and owns no property or homes outside the state of Utah. There were some concerns at the time of the execution of the warrant regarding the presence of Mr. Haws great grandchild who was living in Mr. Haws home at the time. Mr. Haws reports that his grandson and his family no longer reside in the home.”

Haws also cited his need for a CPAP machine and the COVID-19 pandemic:

“Mr. Haws at 69 years of age, is considered “high risk” in the even that he should contract covid-19. He suffers from sleep apnea and requires a “C-PAP” machine at night to address the symptoms of his sleep apnea. While the Salt Lake Detention Center will allow C-PAP machines for approved inmates and is doing its best to manage the potential of a covid-19 outbreak within the facility, the risk for contracting the disease remains.”

In granting Haws’s request to reduce bail, the court also ordered:

“The Court also orders that upon release, the Defendant abide the following terms and conditions:

1. Mr. Haws would have no unsupervised contact with minors.
2. Mr. Haws would surrender his passport to the Court.
3. Mr. Haws would not possess or view pornography of any kind.
4. Mr. Haws would not possess any item capable of accessing the internet.
5. Internet use must be supervised and limited to banking transactions or medical or treatment purposes.
6. Mr. Haws would not leave the state of Utah unless permitted by the Court.
7. Electronic monitoring if deemed necessary.”

2021: E. Bruce Haws pleads guilty to child sexual exploitation charges

In 2021, Haws pleaded guilty to three of the 13 initial felony counts.

2021-04-12: E. Bruce Haws is sentenced to 180 days in jail

All other prison terms (one 1-15 year term per felony count to which Haws pleaded guilty) were suspended.

Haws received credit for 20 days previously served.

Haws also was fined $30,000 ($10,000 per guilty felony charge), but those fines were all suspended by the court.

Haws was placed on probation for 48 months.

2023: E. Bruce Haws violates court-ordered probation and is ordered to serve three days in jail

In January 2023, Haws violated the terms of his probation. FLOODLIT has obtained a statement from the court case by AP&P which says:

“On December 6, 2022, Mr. Haws informed me he had taken his exit polygraph but wanted to inform me he had broken his safety plan. He said he had gone into public restrooms without a supervised sponsor and was sorry. I reminded Mr. Haws that we discussed his safety plan in great detail on how he would conduct himself when he needed to use a public restroom when he was out in the community. He said he checked the restroom himself prior to using it, and I reminded him that it was his sponsor’s job, not him.
I told him I would need to review his polygraph results before AP&P decides on his sanction for breaking his safety plan.
On January 3, 2023, during our office meeting, I informed Mr. Haws I had received his polygraph results and informed him he passed, but I had a question about what was written by the examiner. I told him the examiner noted, “He has maybe had sexual thoughts about minors. He has not masturbated to fantasies about minors.”
I asked Mr. Haws why the examiner would write a note in bold print that he maybe having fantasies about minors. Mr. Haws stated he did not know what I was talking about.
I then asked Mr. Haws if I could search his phone, and Mr. Haws consented to the search. Once I opened up his photo gallery, Mr. Haws became nervous and tried to distance himself from the cell phone by informing me the phone is linked to his wife’s cell phone. I asked him why he told me this and would I find anything on his phone that was against his Group A sex offender probation conditions. Mr. Haws said no.
As I went through his photo gallery, I noticed he had more than 30 images of his granddaughter. I told Mr. Haws he was never granted approval to have pictures of minors on his phone. He then tried to blame his wife for the photos, but I reminded him this was his phone and he is in possession of the photos, which is against his Group A sex offense conditions.
I then went through his google browser history and noticed he searched “Little

FLOODLIT does not know why the document cuts off after “Little (no closing quotation mark”.

According to the Utah state sex offender registry, Haws has a tattoo on his left chest saying “Jorgie” and depicting two hearts and the numbers “3-16-73.”

Haws’s bio from the Deseret Trust Company website – live as 2023-03-21:

“E. Bruce Haws
VICE PRESIDENT AND TRUST OFFICER

E. Bruce Haws has been serving Deseret Trust Company since 1977. He began as operations officer and then became trust officer. He has worked as the tax officer and the Common Trust Fund officer and was a driving force in implementing the software program that Deseret Trust Company currently uses for trust and accounting operations. He currently handles approximately 250 accounts.

His main responsibilities include:

Investment Review Committee
Business Development Committee
Policy and Procedure Committee
Regulatory Compliance Committee
Trust Acceptance and Termination Committee
Discretionary Distributions Committee

Education and Experience:

Associate of science (accounting)—LDS Business College
Bachelor of science (accounting)—University of Utah
Pacific Coast Banking School—University of Washington
Cannon Financial Institute—University of Notre Dame
Utah Planned Giving Roundtable—Treasurer

E-mail: hawseb@deserettrust.com

Sources
  1. marriage announcement of the accused
    view source details | 8 Feb 1973 | Provo Daily Herald
  2. First Class to Graduate from LDSBC Triad Campus
    view source details | 20 Apr 2007 | Meridian Magazine
  3. excerpt from police probable cause affidavit
    view source details | |
  4. E. Bruce Haws
    view source details | 21 Mar 2023 | Deseret Trust Company
Sources excerpts
  • marriage announcement of the accused
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Provo Daily Herald
    Date published/accessed: 8 Feb 1973
    archive 1 | archive 2
  • back to online sources list
    First Class to Graduate from LDSBC Triad Campus
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Meridian Magazine
    Date published/accessed: 20 Apr 2007
    archive 1 | archive 2
  • back to online sources list
    excerpt from police probable cause affidavit
    Source type: Police record
    Publisher:
    Date published/accessed:
    archive 1 | archive 2

    Note by FLOODLIT: we've redacted a few portions below - they are marked as follows: [redacted]

    [WARNING: disturbing content]

    --

    PROBABLE CAUSE STATEMENT AND REQUEST FOR ARREST WARRANT:

    1. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a CyberTipline complaint (# 39713954) indicating a user uploaded eleven (11) images of suspected child pornography online. The information provided to NCMEC stated the user identified as “amother1” was associated with an email listed as “brohaws@gmail.com.” The IP address most recently used to login is [IP address].

    2. I reviewed the images from the CyberTipline report and confirmed the images are child pornography. The image with file name “[redacted].png” depicts an adult male raping a prepubescent female child [redacted]. The female child is approximately six (6) years old. [redacted]

    3. Pursuant to a judicial order, the Internet service provider reported the subscriber account used to upload the child pornography files was V.H. The service address was listed as [address], Taylorsville, UT 84129.

    4. On January 29, 2019, I Interviewed Bruce Haws (HAWS) at the West Jordan address. Post Miranda, HAWS admitted to viewing child pornography on his iPad and explained he used a Safari browser on his iPad to find it.

    5. HAWS confirmed he searched for child pornography using the search terms “teen nudes” and “sweet young angels.”

    6. HAWS also admitted to viewing child pornography for the past three to four
    years. He explained he viewed child pornography three to four times a week for thirty minutes. During the interview HAWS stated, “I’ve only looked” and “I’ve just been looking.”

    7. HAWS admitted he watched child pornography depicting children from eight (8) years old to seventeen (17) years old.

    8. HAWS confirmed the had a Tumblr account and that the account “amother1” was his account. HAWS also confirmed the email address “brohaws@gmail.com” associated with the Tumblr account belonged to him.

    9. I have described thirteen (13) images containing child pornography listed in counts I-XIII which are a sample of the files of child sex abuse imagery found in HAWS’ accounts. I submitted the files to NCMEC via a law enforcement database. One of the files depicts a child previously identified by law enforcement in other child pornography investigations.
    REQUEST FOR AND GROUNDS FOR AN ARREST WARRANT (Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 6(c)(2))

    10. The State respectfully requests the court issue an arrest warrant in the amount of $200,000.00 based upon the foregoing:

    a) Elwood Haws has been charged with thirteen (13) counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, all second-degree felonies, in violation of Utah Code § 76-5b-201.

    b) The child pornography images and videos located in on Elwood Haws accounts were uploaded and distributed via the Internet.

    c) Elwood Haws has access to a young toddler child living in his home. This is a concern for hands on sex offending with a nonverbal victim.

    d) Elwood Haws stated he has viewed child pornography for the past three to four years. e) Child pornography is child sex abuse imagery. The downloading, collecting, viewing, and sharing of this sex abuse imagery causes harm to children. The continued circulation and each new publication of the recorded image of sexual abuse inflicted on a child causes a new injury."

  • back to online sources list
    E. Bruce Haws
    Source type: Website
    Publisher: Deseret Trust Company
    Date published/accessed: 21 Mar 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2

Images: Elwood Haws LDS sex crime case

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