was a Mormon church member and LDS full-time missionary in Guatemala in 1993-1995; admitted to sexually abusing boys while on his mission and later when he was the head of 4-H in Tooele County; sentenced to prison in 2007 in Utah for child sexual abuse of several boys in his care as their 4-H leader

Case Summary

Curtis Crittenden served a full-time LDS mission to Guatemala in approximately 1993-1995.

He was at one time the head of 4-H in Tooele County, Utah.

During a parole hearing in 2009, Crittenden admitted to abusing eight boys while serving as a missionary for the LDS Church and while attending Utah State University in Logan.

From Utah State University News:

“Curtis Crittenden, the former head of 4-H in Tooele County, was arrested in June 2007 after a young Latino boy confided to his soccer coach that he had been molested by Crittenden while attending a sleep-over at Crittenden’s Tooele home earlier that month. An investigation that was later launched revealed six victims, all Spanish-speaking boys from Wendover, who were abused during similar circumstances.”

from KSL:

“(KSL News) A former 4-H club youth leader will spend several years behind bars for sexually abusing boys in his care.

Curtis Crittenden was sentenced to six to 30 years in prison for touching four boys at his home after befriending them at 4-H events.

In July he pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual abuse of a child, as part of a plea deal.”

from Deseret News:

“TOOELE — Third District Judge Mark Kouris sentenced admitted child molester Curtis Reed Crittenden to a prison term of six to 30 years behind bars Tuesday after terming the 33-year-old former youth leader “a human iceberg.”

Crittenden pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain to three counts of second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child and three counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse involving boys whom Crittenden met and befriended through his leadership role in 4-H activities.

“You can’t give back what you’ve taken away,” the judge said. “I think we’re seeing a human iceberg.”

The case involved four boys, two younger than age 14 and two older than 14.

Each count carries a one-to-15-year sentence and Kouris ordered that they run consecutively, but Utah has a 30-year cap on such prison terms.

Kouris was particularly critical of the fact that Crittenden seemed to have sought out the families of Spanish-speaking youngsters since they might be afraid to report crimes.

Crittenden also has admitted molesting other boys while a student at Utah State University and in Guatemala while he was on a mission for the LDS Church.

Kouris said the case was fraught with contradictions that are hard to understand. Crittenden is clearly intelligent, Kouris said, since he has a master’s degree and Crittenden also knew for years that he has impulses to molest children.

“Why didn’t you seek help?” the judge asked.

“I thought about it,” Crittenden replied, “but I was afraid of losing what I’m losing now.”

Crittenden apologized to the victims and their families, as well as members of the community who placed their trust in him as a 4-H leader and youth soccer coach.

“I can’t believe I would do something to hurt them,” Crittenden said in a matter-of-fact voice speaking about the boys, “although I know that I have.”

Crittenden said he “struggled with the problem that caused this,” and added that one of his greatest losses is the fact that he will not be able to work with children again.

Denise Court, who was chosen by the families to speak on their behalf, said it will be difficult for the boys to trust others again. One boy told her, “How can I believe anything anyone says to me?” she said.

Holly Johnson, victim/witness coordinator, read a letter from one victim’s father who once admired Crittenden’s patience with children, but now is so shocked by this betrayal that it feels like “a pain like I had lost my own brother.”

Tooele County Attorney Douglas Hogan later said the information Crittenden provided indicated Crittenden was sorry, but the evidence also shows his crimes were carefully planned.

“I believe, based on the way the information came forward, that he does have remorse,” Hogan said. “I also believe he is incapable of controlling those behaviors on his own.” “

Sources
  1. Former 4-H Leader Sentenced for Sex Abuse
    view source details | 26 Sep 2007 | KSL
  2. Child molester gets 6 to 30 years
    view source details | 25 Sep 2007 | Deseret News
  3. Alpine Academy Employee Accused Of Raping Student
    view source details | 15 May 2009 | Utah State University
Sources excerpts

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