was an LDS church member and dentist in South Ogden, Utah; accused of sexual abuse

Case Summary

Gregg Nielsen was a Mormon church member and dentist in Utah.

Nielsen sexually abused three children over a period of multiple years.

    view source details | 22 Mar 1995 | Deseret News
Sources excerpts
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Deseret News
    Date published/accessed: 22 Mar 1995
    archive 1 | archive 2

    South Ogden dentist Gregg T. "Skip" Nielsen will complete a one-year jail term next month, but he and his wife still face a civil lawsuit filed by one of the dentist's sexual abuse victims.

    Jodi Burton alleges that Barbara Nielsen witnessed one or more acts of sexual abuse by Nielsen during a two-year period and did nothing to stop it.Burton, who insists her name be used, also alleges that Gregg Nielsen's assaults caused her physical and emotional injury and damaged her reputation and self-esteem.

    The Nielsens' attorney, John T. Nielsen, said the Nielsens will soon respond in detail to the lawsuit filed in 2nd District Court.

    He said Barbara Nielsen denies she had any knowledge of her husband's contact with the victim. The attorney is not related to the couple.

    Last year, 2nd District Judge Stanton Taylor sentenced Nielsen to one year in jail on three counts of second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child and two counts of attempted sexual abuse of a child, a third-degree felony.

    The offenses carry a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison, but Nielsen was permitted release time to run his dental practice and perform community volunteer work.

    After his conviction, the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing placed Nielsen on five years' probation. But the Utah Attorney General's Office, seeking to revoke his license, asked the division to review its ruling.

    A hearing is planned March 31.

    In October, Taylor allowed Nielsen to complete his sentence at the Ogden Community Correction Center, a halfway house.

    At sentencing, prosecutor Gary Heward said the charges resulted from more than 100 incidents of illicit contact that stopped short of sexual intercourse. Heward and Adult Probation and Parole officers recommended that Nielsen be sent to prison, but Taylor opted for the jail sentence.

    Many expressed anger over what they perceived as a lenient sentence.

    Burton's attorney, W. Brent Wilcox, said the woman still is having problems because Nielsen was someone she had trusted as a child.

    The Burtons lived next door to the dentist and Nielsen hired the young girl to work in his office.

    Nielsen told her he had known her in a previous life, a reference to the LDS belief in a pre-life existence, Burton said. When she questioned their age difference, she said he told her their liaison was "the perfectly natural love between a man and a woman."

    Burton, who was 12 at the time of the abuse but now is in her 20s, is asking for damages for emotional distress. She also charges the Nielsens have damaged her reputation with defamatory remarks about her character.

    The suit asks that the Nielsens pay for medical and psychiatric expenses as well as general damages to be determined by a jury at trial.

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.