was an LDS church member and therapist in Lehi, Utah; charged in 2022 with three felony counts of sexual abuse; pleaded guilty in April 2023 to one count of attempted object rape (victim was 14-15 years old at the time of the crime); sentenced in September 2023 to 180 days in jail

Case Summary

Kayla Atkin was a Mormon church member and licensed clinical social worker / therapist in Utah. She was convicted of a sex crime in 2023 and sentenced to 180 days in jail.

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According to a police probable cause affidavit in Atkin’s case, she groomed and repeatedly sexually assaulted an underage victim while working as an assistant coach on the victim’s traveling softball team. The activities slowed down in November of 2014, when Atkin started dating a man who she eventually married and divorced in 2015. That marriage took place in the Salt Lake City Mormon temple.

Kayla Atkin Mormon sex abuse case timeline:

2013: Atkin graduated from Brigham Young University-Hawaii (BYU-H) with a bachelor’s degree in social work.

According to Atkin’s LinkedIn profile, she described a Phi Alpha Social Work Honors Society project that she completed:

“Head a 40 hour project. Must have a 3.8 GPA to participate. The Clothesline Project helps bring sexual abuse and sexual violence to the publics attention. It allows survivors or those who know survivors to voice their stories and support for all of the people that have been abused or assaulted. They did this by decorating T Shirts with their stories, or support. These t shirts were hung across the entire campus. We also put on a forum with guest speakers who taught about abuse and the affects it has on our brains.”

April 2014: approximate date of Atkin’s crime of attempted object rape (pleaded guilty in April 2023).

April 2015: Atkin (age 21) was married in the Salt Lake LDS temple.

August 2015: Atkin filed for divorce.

December 2015: Divorce finalized (Utah court case 154401935).

April 2016: Atkin completed a master’s degree in social work at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah.

19 April 2023: Atkin pleaded guilty to one felony count of attempted object rape. As part of the plea deal, two other felony counts were dismissed without prejudice.

As of September 2023, Atkin has an active license in the state of Utah as a clinical social worker. License number 6346093-3501.

  1. Kayla Atkin - Masters of Social Work Therapist/Intern at The Family Support & Treatment Center
    view source details | 12 Sep 2023 | LinkedIn
  2. Family therapist convicted of sex crimes against child takes plea deal of 6 months in jail
    view source details | 8 Sep 2023 | KSL TV
Sources excerpts
  • Kayla Atkin - Masters of Social Work Therapist/Intern at The Family Support & Treatment Center
    Source type: Website
    Publisher: LinkedIn
    Date published/accessed: 12 Sep 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2


    Masters of Social Work Therapist/Intern
    The Family Support & Treatment Center
    Aug 2015 - Present · 8 yrs 2 mos

    BSW Intern
    Utah Valley Family Support and Treatment Center
    Jan 2014 - Present · 9 yrs 9 mos
    Running Group Parenting Classes, Working in a crisis nursery with children out of foster care, Doing in home parenting training, mentoring and case management for clients, attending training for social work and play therapy.

    Collections and Retention Manager
    Mar 2014 - Aug 2015 · 1 yr 6 mos
    Provo, Utah Area
    Managed a team of employees. Kept the statistics for retention and collection. Conducted weekly meetings and one on one's with my team. Worked closely with management to help departments run as efficiently as possible. Worked with customers to retain memberships, as well as collect owed money.

    Account Creation
    Protection 1 Security Solutions
    May 2012 - Dec 2013 · 1 yr 8 mos

    Account Creation
    Devcon Security
    Jan 2010 - Dec 2011 · 2 yrs


    Brigham Young University
    Master's degree, Clinical/Medical Social Work
    2014 - 2016
    Grade: Second Year MSW Student

    Brigham Young University–Hawaii
    Bachelor of Social Work, Social Work
    2011 - 2013
    Activities and societies: Phi Alpha Social Work Honors Society
    Social Work Club

  • back to online sources list
    Family therapist convicted of sex crimes against child takes plea deal of 6 months in jail
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: KSL TV
    Date published/accessed: 8 Sep 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2

    PROVO, Utah – A Utah family therapist still has a license to practice social work, despite being convicted of a sex crime against a 14-year-old girl.

    The Department of Professional Licensing tells KSL it will now seek to have Kayla Atkin voluntarily surrender her license, which has remained active for more than a year after she was charged.

    “Should she not agree to surrender then we take agency action to revoke,” said Melanie Hall, spokesperson for DOPL.

    Atkin, who owns Sunset Therapy Services in Draper, was initially charged with three counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child in July of 2022. The charges stemmed from abuse that occurred in 2014 when Atkin was the assistant coach of a traveling softball team. In April 2023, as part of a deal with prosecutors, Atkin pleaded guilty to one count of Attempted Object Rape. She was sentenced Wednesday to spend 180 days in jail – a sentence the victim, prosecutors and even the judge say was too light.

    “Bait and switch”

    Attempted object rape, a first-degree felony charge, carried a potential prison sentence of three-years-to-life. However, prosecutors recommended no prison time as part of the plea deal, instead agreeing to a 6-month jail sentence that Atkin would be allowed to serve on weekends.

    Judge Robert Lunnen bound himself to the agreement in April but in court Wednesday said, “In my mind this was inappropriate now that I know the whole facts of the case.”

    “I feel like I’ve had a bait and switch here and I’m a little upset about this whole case,” Lunnen also said. “It’s frustrating to me to sit here and realize this is not really what the parties wanted.”

    A change in prosecutors earlier this year brought Julia Thomas onto the case after the plea deal was reached with the defense. In court, Thomas told the judge the victim in the case had agreed with the deal but “was not happy about it.”

    Lunnen said the plea had been represented to him in a way that led him to believe all parties were happy.

    “As I consider these pleas, one of the biggest things I consider is, are they making this plea because they’ve had a conversation with the victim in the case and the victim has indicated, ‘I don’t want to take the stand and I’m happy to do this plea.’ And that was what I thought had occurred in this case. It sounded to me like no one wanted to go forward with a trial. I wish now as I look back that someone would have spoken up,” he said.

    Lunnen said the case had taught him a lesson.

    “I feel partially responsible,” he said. “Maybe I should have asked the victim a little more in our first hearing whether or not she truly wanted to go through with this plea. I couldn’t guess. I should have asked. I should have asked and said, ‘Are you going through with this because you don’t want to go to trial?’ And I didn’t, and I feel ashamed myself for not having inquired further into this case.”

    “You got a really nice deal”

    The victim in the case stood in court Wednesday and read a statement directed at Atkin, expressing her feelings about how her case ended.

    “I felt rushed into this plea agreement and still feel a great sense of hesitancy,” she said. “All things considered, you got a really nice deal.”

    To the judge, the victim said, “My sincerest hope is that Kayla’s plea agreement is enough to protect another innocent child from the shattering devastation that sexual abuse brings.”
    “It makes you a predator”

    After listening to statements from the victim, a teammate, the victim’s mother and Atkin herself, Judge Lunnen handed down a 15-years-to-life in prison sentence, suspended in exchange for the 6-month jail sentence agreed upon in the plea deal. Atkin will also spend 10 years on probation.

    Conditions of that probation will prohibit her from having any contact with minors, a point Judge Lunnen drove home with an impassioned statement to Atkin.

    “It just is disgusting to me that you would tell a minor that you love them and want to marry them. And I believe her in this case that that’s exactly what you told her,” Lunnen said. “And that doesn’t make it an excuse, it makes you a predator and I’m telling you now if you violate any condition of your probation I will send you to prison for 15-to-life. This statement that this was a light deal is right. It was.“
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    A website and Facebook page for Sunset Therapy Services were taken offline Thursday, the day after Atkin’s sentencing. Her profile remains active on Monarch.com, an online service connecting patients with therapists nationwide. She was ordered to report to jail on Saturday.

Images: Kayla Atkin 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.