was an LDS church member and therapist in Idaho Falls, Idaho; accused in April 2023 of sexual abuse; once served as clinical director of Operation Shield, counseling child sexual trauma survivors; pleaded guilty in October 2023 to felony sexual abuse or exploitation of a vulnerable adult

Case Summary

Robert Stahn was a mental health counselor in the Idaho Falls, Idaho area.

According to the website of Well Spring Counseling, a business Stahn ran, he served seven years as an officer in the US Air Force, was stationed in Turkey during Desert Storm, and was also stationed in New Hampshire and Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

In April 2023, Stahn was charged in Idaho with felony sexual abuse or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. He was arrested and held on $15,000 bond.

Stahn was an active member of the LDS church (Mormon) at the time of his alleged crimes, according to FLOODLIT’s sources. He may have served in a branch or ward leadership role.

In October 2023, Stahn pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal.

If you know anything about this case, please contact us or leave an anonymous tip.

Stahn divorced in 2023.

Sentencing was set for Dec. 21, 2023.

Sources
  1. Local therapist admits to sexually abusing vulnerable adults, police say
    view source details | 26 Apr 2023 | East Idaho News
  2. Well Spring Counseling — Where YOU Are The Expert
    view source details | 20 May 2023 | Well Spring Counseling LLC
  3. Local therapist accused of sexually abusing a vulnerable adult admits guilt
    view source details | 23 Oct 2023 | East Idaho News
Sources excerpts
  • Local therapist admits to sexually abusing vulnerable adults, police say
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: East Idaho News
    Date published/accessed: 26 Apr 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2

    IDAHO FALLS — A 64-year-old man has been charged after allegedly writing a letter admitting to sexual abuse involving vulnerable adults with the mental capabilities of toddlers.

    Robert Stahn was charged with felony sexual abuse or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

    Stahn is the founder of Well Spring Counseling in Idaho Falls. According to its website, he worked in the field of psychology and substance abuse for forty years before retiring in 2023. The website says Stahn started Well Spring Counseling in 1994 and continues to manage the business.

    EastIdahoNews.com has previously interviewed Stahn as a source in multiple stories on mental health.

    According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by the Idaho Falls Police Department, a detective received a letter from a woman last year where Stahn shared a history of “sexual deviancy.”

    Stahn had read the letter to the woman and provided her with a copy.

    He said the abuse had happened between March 2021 and June 2021.

    In the letter, he talked about two vulnerable adults that were in his care for several years. The adults were both nonverbal and had the mentality of 18-month-olds.

    Stahn admits in the letter that he used one of the victims as a “sexual object” in which he could be “aroused.” He admitted to watching her naked as she was changing her clothes.

    Stahn said he created scenarios where he could see the victim in various states of undress. He said in the letter, “I did this approximately six times downstairs in order for me to feel sexual thrill.”

    When the detective spoke with Stahn, he confirmed he had written the letter and committed the acts.

    His bond was set at $15,000, and he appeared in court earlier this week. He is expected to report to pre-trial supervision after posting bond. A no-contact order has been issued between him and a victim.

    The charge is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, a $25,000 fine, and restitution.

    Stahn is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 9 at 1 p.m. at the Bonneville County courthouse.

    Though Stahn has been charged with this crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

  • back to online sources list
    Well Spring Counseling — Where YOU Are The Expert
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Well Spring Counseling LLC
    Date published/accessed: 20 May 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2
  • back to online sources list
    Local therapist accused of sexually abusing a vulnerable adult admits guilt
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: East Idaho News
    Date published/accessed: 23 Oct 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2

    IDAHO FALLS – A local therapist pleaded guilty to felony sexual abuse charges on Monday.

    Robert Stahn, 64, pleaded guilty to felony sexual abuse or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

    Stahn initially pleaded not guilty, but after mediation between both parties, he agreed to a plea agreement in which he would plead guilty, and the prosecution agreed to recommend a probation period at sentencing.

    The plea would be binding on the court, meaning that if District Judge Michael Whyte decides to accept the agreement, he cannot change the sentence. If Whyte chooses not to accept the agreement, Stahn can again change his plea.

    During the change of plea hearing, prosecuting attorney Scott Davis told the court the victim could not negotiate during mediation because they are a nonverbal adult but that the victim’s mother participated in their place.

    Stahn’s attorney, John Stosich, told the court that his client abused the victim, who was living in his home at the time.

    “During that residency, Mr. Stahn did physically touch (the victim) in such a way that it caused (the victim) to change the way her clothing was, and that caused her to expose herself to Mr. Stahn, which was done in order to appeal to Mr. Stahn’s prurient desires, your honor,” Stosich said.

    Stahn’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 21.
    Background of the case

    On Dec. 27, court documents say a detective received a letter from a woman containing a confession from Stahn that he had a history of “sexual deviancy.”

    Stahn reportedly read the letter to the woman and gave her a copy.

    He said the abuse had happened between March 2021 and June 2021.

    In the letter, he talked about two vulnerable adults who were in his care for several years. The adults were both nonverbal and had the mentality of 18-month-olds.

    Stahn admits in the letter that he used one of the victims as a “sexual object” in which he could be “aroused.” He admitted to watching her naked as she was changing her clothes.

    Stahn said he created scenarios where he could see the victim in various states of undress.

    “I did this approximately six times downstairs in order for me to feel sexual thrill,” he said in the letter.

    When the detective spoke with Stahn, he confirmed he had written the letter and committed the acts.

    Stahn is the founder of Well Spring Counseling in Idaho Falls. According to its website, he worked in the field of psychology and substance abuse for 40 years before retiring in 2023. Stahn started Well Spring Counseling in 1994 and continues to manage the business.

    EastIdahoNews.com has previously interviewed Stahn as a source in multiple stories on mental health.

Images: Robert Stahn 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.