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4 former Mormon Church employees publicly accused and/or convicted of sexual abuse or other sex crimes during their lifetimes
  • FLOODLIT.org Mormon sex abuse case #34: Timothy William Bothell

    • Born in 1969.
    • Also known as Tim Bothell.
    • Timothy Bothell was a LDS church employee and LDS church member in Utah; pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2013 for sexual abuse of 2 girls ages 11 and 13.
    • Worked in the LDS church as a Church employee, Stake high council, .
    • This case arose in 2013 in Utah.

      When Bothell was arrested, the LDS Church dismissed him from his position in the church stake high council. Bothell pleaded guilty to one count of attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child and one count of lewdness involving a child.

      from the Salt Lake Tribune on 2013-03-01:

      Bountiful • A 43-year-old Centerville man who is a former LDS Church employee was sentenced Friday to two years in jail for sexually abusing one child and showing his genitals to a second child last year.

      Timothy William Bothell was charged in 2nd District Court with two counts of first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child stemming from incidents at a home between Dec. 1, 2011, and Aug. 9. He was also charged with four counts of lewdness involving a child, a class A misdemeanor.

      Bothell pleaded guilty in December to one count of first-degree felony attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child and one count of lewdness involving a child.

      The felony count carries a potential prison term of up to life, and the lewdness count is punishable by up to a year in jail.

      But Judge Glen Dawson instead ordered five years of probation with a year in jail on each count, running consecutively.

      Dawson also said the probation was “zero tolerance,” meaning that any violation of his probation conditions would land Bothell in prison for the rest of the sentence.

      As part of his probation, Bothell must complete sex-offender treatment, must pay $14,000 in restitution and will not be allowed contact with the victims or any other children under 18 — except those approved by the Department of Corrections.

      Calling it a “very difficult case,” Dawson openly struggled over his duty to impose an appropriate sentence.

      “These are horrible acts, there’s just no two ways to look at that,” Dawson said.

      Bothell “intentionally or knowingly” exposed his genitals to the same girl and another girl on at least four separate occasions, court documents state.

      After being interviewed by police Bothell admitted to touching the genitals of the girl and causing her to touch his penis. He told officers he “accidentally” exposed himself to the same two girls at least eight different times, according to court records.

      Bothell’s attorney L. Bruce Larsen had argued against prison time, saying his client had been proactive in accepting the consequences since the abuse came to light in August 2012. Bothell admitted his actions to police, voluntarily submitted to counseling and has also paid for the victims’ counseling, Larsen said.

      “Everything he’s done has indicated he is going to change his life,” Larsen said.

      In a tearful statement to the judge, Bothell said he was remorseful and ready to accept the consequences.

      “I’m very grateful that this is moving forward,” Bothell said. “I’m grateful that [the victim] saw me lose my job so that she can realize that my employer does not tolerate this kind of behavior.”

      Dawson questioned Bothell about what led him to “go from family life to these acts,” expressing some incredulity that it wasn’t somehow rooted in an addiction to pornography, something the judge said he had seen in “99 percent” of the sexual-abuse cases he has seen.

      Bothell denied any involvement with pornography but said that he had been exposed to abuse as a young child himself and that his crimes “began with a boundary being crossed.”

      Prosecutor Cristina Ortega said that while Bothell had been “very proactive” in taking responsibility for his actions, she still pushed for a prison sentence because Bothell’s actions were repeated.

      “That first incident, there was an awareness that what he did was wrong. And then it didn’t stop,” Ortega said.

      Neither the victim of the sexual abuse nor her father was in court. It was revealed Friday that the victim’s mother had died since Bothell was charged. But Bothell’s attorney read briefly from a letter written by one of the victims’ family members that called Bothell a “wonderful person who did something terrible” and asked that Bothell not be punished by lengthy incarceration.

      LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter said last year in a written statement that Bothell was no longer an employee of the church. Trotter also said that “neither [Bothell’s] current or former church positions play any part in this case.”

      Trotter added: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind. Those found guilty of these actions are subject to the demands of the law and also face Church discipline. The welfare of victims is our utmost concern and Church leaders will continue to offer counseling and other resources to help in the healing process.”

      In 2009, Bothell co-authored a magazine article in Meridian, an LDS magazine, on “raising children to feel and recognize the spirit.”

      He had worked for the church in the Missionary Department at the church office building since 2004 and previously worked as a faculty development coordinator for the Assessment of Student Learning at Brigham Young University, according to his LinkedIn online account. Bothell also has a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in psychology from BYU.”

    • Latest update: Pleaded guilty.
    • More details at FLOODLIT.org/a034
  • FLOODLIT.org Mormon sex abuse case #68: Michael James Clay

    • Born in 1974.
    • Also known as Mr. Clay, Professor Clay, Mike Clay.
    • Michael Clay was an LDS church member and BYU professor in Provo, Utah; charged with sexually abusing three students; entered a plea bargain in May 2023 in which he agreed to plead no contest to three class A misdemeanor charges of sexual battery, complete 24 months of probation, do 50 hours of community service, and take a sexual boundaries course; sentenced in June 2023 according to the plea deal.
    • Worked in the LDS church as a BYU professor, Church employee, Scout leader, Youth leader, .
    • Was a BYU professor, Church employee, at the time of alleged or confirmed criminal activity.
    • Was married in an LDS temple in 1998 .
    • Utah Case #20140964, offender ID number 259586

      Michael Clay was a Mormon church member and BYU professor in Provo, Utah.

      FLOODLIT’s sources report that Clay once served as a young men’s president and a scoutmaster in his Mormon ward in Utah.

      In May 2023, Clay agreed to plead no contest to three class A misdemeanor charges of sexual battery.

      On June 26, 2023, Clay was sentenced according to the plea deal terms.

      from the Deseret News on June 25, 2020:

      “PROVO — A Springville man was charged Thursday with sexually abusing a student while he was an associate professor at Brigham Young University.

      Michael James Clay, 45, is charged in 4th District Court with two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

      Clay was head of the Urban and Regional Planning in the Geography Department at BYU, according to his online bio.

      BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins on Thursday said Clay has not been an employee of the university since about mid-April and referred all other questions to the Utah County Attorney’s Office.

      Between January and March he was in charge of the program at the school the student was involved with, according to charging documents.

      “(Clay) has the authority to hire interns and teaching assistants in connection with this program. (He) told the victim that if she trusted him more, he might be able to hire her but that he wanted to wait to see how she improved. (Clay) told the victim that he is very powerful in the victim’s field of study,” according to the charges.

      During a meeting with Clay, the woman, who is originally from another country, said she told him she “was having some emotional difficulties.”

      “(Clay) told the victim that he could make her feel better and make all the negative feelings go away,” according to the charges. “(Clay) said he could work on her disorders and the negative feelings and that he could be her emotional and physical support. The victim considered (Clay) to be a mentor and a therapist.”

      The woman said she met with Clay more than 20 times in his office. During that time, she said he would play “meditation music” and “told the victim that his office was a safe place and that she should not tell anyone what went on there,” the charges state.

      Clay also told the woman to delete the text messages he would send her, according to BYU police.

      “(He) told the victim that she needed to change her body chemistry and that she needed to practice how to be a good wife and that (he) could help her,” the charges state. At one point, the woman talked about meeting with a counselor or psychiatrist, but Clay told her that “meeting with him was more effective.”

      Other text messages included Clay telling the woman he thought they were “making good progress” and that his job was to “help (her) on the inside” and that maybe they should see each other more often, the charges allege.

      “On one occasion, (Clay) gave the victim a priesthood blessing. On another occasion, (he) told the victim that he had prayed about her and felt inspired from God to engage in physical contact with the victim,” according to charging documents.

      Sometime between Jan. 15 and Feb. 15, Clay drove the woman up a canyon in Utah County touched the woman’s buttocks over her clothing, the charges state. “(Clay) asked if it was OK. The victim said it was OK because she felt like she had to say yes.”

      During a meeting in February in Clay’s office, Clay had the woman sit on his lap by straddling him, according to the charges.

      “(Clay) asked the victim if she enjoyed it. The victim said she did not and that it kind of hurt. (He) said the victim needed to practice and to try to connect more. (Clay) led the victim to believe that this was somehow therapy for past issues,” the charging documents say.

      Clay did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.”

      from the Salt Lake Tribune on May 18, 2023:

      “Ex-BYU professor takes plea deal in case involving sexual battery of three female students
      Michael James Clay, originally charged with felonies, has pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor counts.

      (Tribune file photo) The BYU campus in Provo on Wednesday June 1, 2016. On Monday, May 8, 2023, former BYU professor Michael James Clay pleaded no contest to sexual battery charges involving three of his female students.

      The first Brigham Young University student who reported Michael James Clay to police said the professor told her he was inspired by God to touch her — even after she told him she wasn’t comfortable with it.

      Then two more women came forward with similar allegations, saying Clay also abused his position as their teacher and their boss. One of the women said he misrepresented his role in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which operates BYU, and gave her a blessing to seek counseling from him; he was not qualified to provide therapy. Both said he pushed his body against theirs, while he reminded them of the control he had over their futures.

      The now-former professor was eventually charged with seven felonies, which Utah County prosecutors later trimmed to three counts of forcibly sexually abusing the three female students. Clay, 48, was scheduled to stand trial last week.

      But in a plea deal with prosecutors, Clay has instead pleaded no contest to three misdemeanors. And while Clay signed a statement acknowledging he touched the women and “should have known it would cause affront or alarm,” his attorneys contend the former professor was wrongfully accused and maintains his innocence.

      “When a person is assailed by allegations of sexual harassment, especially in the present social circumstance, and suffers the resources of the government on the side of the accuser, the accused may chose to plead no contest to misdemeanors and move his life forward,” they said in an emailed statement. “That is the path that Mr. Clay has chosen.”

      The Utah County Attorney’s Office, which has prosecuted the case, did not respond to a request for comment about the plea agreement.

      In the deal, which a judge has approved, Clay agreed to two years of probation, some community service and counseling on sexual boundaries. His formal sentencing hearing is set for June 26.

      Clay was the previous head of the Urban and Regional Planning program in the Geography Department at BYU. His case drew widespread attention when he was first charged in 2020, in connection with the first woman who reported to police.

      The school said his employment there ended in April 2020.

      A little more than a year later, two more students reported to campus police that they had similar interactions with Clay, where he allegedly groped them and threatened to withhold letters of recommendation and job opportunities if they told anyone; Clay was in a unique position where he had sole control over opportunities in the program. The allegations with all three women spanned from 2017 to 2020.

      Clay “used his position as a university professor, employer and priesthood holder in the LDS Church to control and manipulate the young women,” charging documents alleged. “… In doing so, defendant took advantage of the victims and manipulated them for the purpose of sexual gratification.”

      Additional charges were added at that time. A four-day trial for Clay had been slated to start Monday.

      Clay was a professor of the three women and offered to counsel each as they told him about their personal struggles, according to police documents, though he was not qualified to do so.

      The first woman who came forward said she met with Clay more than 20 times, and he would tell her that his “office was a safe place and that she should not tell anyone what went on there,” she told officers. According to BYU Police, Clay instructed the woman to delete any texts he sent her.

      At the start of 2020, the woman said, Clay drove her up a canyon in Utah County and touched her over her clothes. She told police she felt she had to say “yes” because of the authority Clay had over her at school.

      He allegedly told her that he had prayed and felt inspired by God to fondle her. Later, in February 2020, the woman said Clay asked her to straddle his lap, according to the charges. She told him to stop touching her, but she said he didn’t.

      With all of the students, Clay allegedly initiated private counseling sessions, they said, and misrepresented himself as a religious leader in the LDS Church who could offer them blessings. With two of the women, Clay also supervised them in non-campus jobs at his private firm.

      Police say he leveraged that control over them.

      The second woman to report said she began working for Clay around January 2017. His long hugs, she told police, turned into him holding her and fondling her. He also asked her intimate questions about her sexual experiences, she alleged. She, too, said Clay pushed her to straddle him.

      “She stated that defendant was not only her boss at the university and at his private firm, but her progress in her field of study was at defendant’s sole discretion,” according to charging documents, which also said Clay “often reminded victim of that fact.”

      She said he also used their shared religion to “manipulate her into feeling a certain way.”

      The third woman was a student and intern at his private firm, as well. She said she was groped by Clay from January 2018 through December 2019 and that the then-professor also would grind his body up against her. He additionally asked her inappropriate questions, she said.

      The charging documents stated: “When defendant discussed these things, he said he had a rule that what was said in his office stayed in his office, indicated that if she told people what he said that he could not trust her, and said that he would never recommend anyone for jobs if he could not trust that person.””

      from ABC4 on May 19, 2023:

      “EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of the article reported Clay pleaded guilty to charges, when instead he pleaded no contest. We apologize for the error.

      PROVO, Utah (ABC4) — The former BYU professor charged with sexual battery of his student interns and employees accepted a plea deal.

      Michael James Clay, 49, was initially charged with seven counts of forcible sexual abuse, all 2nd-degree felonies, to which he pleaded not guilty. The charges were amended to three counts of sexual battery, all class A misdemeanors, to which he pleaded no contest.

      Previous to his charges, Clay was a geography department professor at BYU. In June 2020, Clay was accused of sexually abusing one of his former students. Two other students later came forward with similar allegations.

      According to the court documents, Clay had sole control over the geography department and was able to hire students to perform research using university funds. Clay also hired students through his private firm, the document states.

      “[Clay] used his position as a university professor, employer, and priesthood holder in the LDS Church to control and manipulate young women,” the court document states.

      In approximately January 2017, a BYU student was working for Clay and performing research for him both at BYU and at his private firm. According to court documents, she told Clay she was experiencing personal problems and began to meet with him in his office. She said the visits became more regular often two to three times per week until they stopped in March 2020 due to covid.

      When the student first started going to Clay’s office, she said he would greet her with a hug. She said the hugs got progressively longer, making her uncomfortable. Eventually, the hugs turned into him holding her moving his hands down her back and holding her butt.

      Clay told the student that they needed to meditate to help her with her anxiety. He would reportedly talk to her about her sex life and tell her that meditation was important for a healthy sex life. During the meetings, Clay would have the student sit on his lap straddling him for around 20 minutes.

      According to court documents, the student told Clay she was considering getting a therapist instead. Clay allegedly told her she could do that if she wanted to tell her feelings to someone who didn’t care about her, or she could continue meeting with him because he actually understood and cared for her.

      The student told officials that while she did not want to participate in the touching, she was afraid of refusing to do what Clay wanted. She said not only was Clay her boss at the university and at his private firm, but her progress in her field of study was at his sole discretion. Reportedly, Clay would often remind her of that fact, and give her priesthood blessings to try to manipulate her into feeling a certain way.

      Between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2019, another female student was an intern and employee at his private firm. As with the first victim, Clay allegedly manipulated her into having counseling sessions with him. Clay reportedly told her that he had single-handedly put together the broken pieces of many girls, and if she wanted to feel Heavenly Father’s love, she would need to talk to him.

      The student said that their counseling sessions quickly turned into talking almost exclusively about sexual things and then into physical contact. Clay also engaged in ecclesiastical abuse to accomplish his abuse of the student, the court record states.

      He would allegedly frequently tell her she was out of spiritual alignment and held a “tea ceremony” to help her. During the ceremony, he allegedly asked her to pledge her obedience to him. The victim said she eventually agreed, but later that day told him she would no longer be able to attend their weekly meetings over the summer. Clay reportedly said if she wasn’t going to commit to something, he no longer needed her to come to internship meetings.

      In early 2020, Clay reportedly began meeting with a third BYU student and told her that he was very powerful in her field of study, and may be able to give her an internship if she trusted him. She said she expressed to Clay that she was having some emotional difficulties, and Clay told her he could make her negative feelings go away. They met in his office around 20 times, the student reported.

      Clay allegedly told the student his office was a safe place and not to tell anyone what went on there. He told her he could be her emotional and physical support. They would communicate via text messages, and Clay allegedly told her to delete the messages and wanted to check her phone to make sure she deleted them.

      Sometime between mid-January 2020 and February 2020, Clay drove the student up the canyon, and after walking outside they got in the backseat of his car. Clay then allegedly touched her inappropriately and asked if it was okay with her. She said okay because she said she felt like she had to say yes.

      On one occasion, Clay told the student he felt inspired by God to engage in physical contact. She said she believed him at the time. On Feb. 19 or 20, they met in his office where Clay then allegedly touched her inappropriately. The student told Clay “That’s enough” and “I’m good” several times before he finally stopped. According to charging documents, Clay said she needed to practice and reportedly told her it would help her.

      According to court records, Clay told the student she needed to change her body chemistry and practice in order to be a good wife. At one point, the student said she was thinking about meeting with a psychiatrist, but Clay told her that meeting with him was more effective.

      In March 2020, due to the pandemic, Clay allegedly stopped meeting with at least one of the victims. It was shortly after this that they came forward with their allegations.

      Clay’s sentencing is scheduled for June 26 at the 4th District Court in Provo, Utah. ”

      from Gephardt Daily on 2023-06-26:

      “PROVO, Utah, June 26, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — A former Brigham Young University associate professor accused of sexually abusing three students was sentenced Monday to two years of probation after pleading no contest to reduced charges.

      Michael James Clay, 48, was charged in June 2020 with two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, for allegedly touching students inappropriately in January and February 2020 while working in BYU’s geography department.

      On May 8, Clay pleaded no contest to three class A misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, one for each student.

      Clay will serve no jail time under the sentence issued by 4th District Judge Sean Petersen, who ordered the Springville man to serve 24 months of probation, 50 hours of community service and complete a sexual boundaries course. The sentence also stipulates no contact with the victims.

      Clay’s statement filed in Provo’s 4th District Court says he “intentionally touched the buttocks of three adult women.”

      “It was under circumstances I should have known it would cause affront or alarm,” it concludes.

      Clay was no longer employed by BYU when charges were filed in June 2020.

      Charging documents say the illegal touching took place in his Provo office and his vehicle.”

      from KSL TV on 2023-06-26:

      “PROVO, Utah — A Utah judge said the sentence for a former BYU professor who pleaded no contest to sexual battery involving students could have ended up very differently if he and the attorneys in the case hadn’t already agreed to a Rule 11 plea — which means the judge agreed to impose the sentence proposed by the attorneys before the plea was signed.

      “I’ve got to say I’m very concerned. Taking advantage of innocent students is just inexcusable. There is just no room for that type of behavior and grooming in our society,” 4th District Judge Sean Petersen said Monday.

      Yet Michael James Clay, 48, was sentenced to no jail time, only two years of probation.

      Petersen described reading victim impact statements from two of three students who claimed they were assaulted by Clay while he was their professor at Brigham Young University.

      “In reading those, Mr. Clay, if you don’t get a sense of what these victims have gone through and are going through, that is a serious problem. I do feel for these victims, the lives of these women will clearly be affected forever and that’s of great concern to me,” the judge said.

      Clay was initially charged with two counts of forcible sexual abuse. After two more students came forward, he was later charged with four additional counts of forcible sexual abuse. All were second-degree felonies.

      Prosecutors said the Springville man engaged in “ecclesiastical abuse to accomplish his sex abuse.” Clay told one victim he had prayed about her and felt inspired by God to engage in physical contact with her, and led her to believe that she could not turn him down, according to police.
      Michael James Clay, a former BYU professor accused of sexually assaulting three students, was sentenced to two years of probation and 50 years of community service for three counts of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor.
      Michael James Clay, a former BYU professor accused of sexually assaulting three students, was sentenced to two years of probation and 50 years of community service for three counts of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor. (Brigham Young University)

      As part of a plea bargain with the Utah County Attorney’s Office, Clay pleaded no contest to three reduced counts of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor, and all other charges were dismissed.

      With little comment Monday from attorneys about the sentence already agreed upon — including an attorney representing two of the victims — Petersen suspended sentences of 364 days in jail for each count and instead sentenced Clay to serve 24 months of probation and 50 hours of community service. He also ordered the man to take a sexual boundaries class and have no contact with the three victims.

      The judge said “there will be zero tolerance” moving forward and encouraged Clay to comply completely with the terms of the agreement.

      When asked if he wanted to make a comment before the sentence, Clay told the judge he had nothing to say. In signing his plea, he wrote: “I intentionally touched the buttocks of three adult women. … I should have known it would cause affront or alarm.”

      In charging documents, three BYU students reported meeting with Clay in one-on-one interactions that mirrored therapy sessions. The women told police their then-professor used religion or his position as an associate professor or their employer to manipulate them.

      The first victim filed a police report against Clay in April of 2020. BYU Police Lt. Jeff Long testified that the woman is an immigrant and was trying to get into the urban development program. Clay was head of that program at the time.

      Long said Clay admitted to him that he had skin-on-skin contact with the woman during a hug that was an “inadvertent touch” because the woman had a shirt with a high midriff. During the interview, Clay also confirmed he took the woman up Provo Canyon in a vehicle and said there may have been an accidental touch.

      The lieutenant also said Clay confirmed that there was one point when the woman was sitting on his lap, but Clay denied the “dry humping” that the woman reported. Clay confirmed to the officer that he had given the woman money to purchase clothing, and she pulled up her shirt to expose the bottom of a bra she had purchased. Long said the woman reported he had asked her to pull up her shirt to expose the bra.

      Provo police detective Scott Nielsen testified about two other victims — women who came forward after the charges related to the first woman were filed. He said another woman reported Clay touching her buttocks or tailbone during conversations about chakra.

      The professor would greet the victims with hugs, which became progressively longer and eventually led to him “moving his hands down (one woman’s) back, and fondling her buttocks,” according to the charging documents, which also allege that he held meditation sessions where he would have the student sit on his lap, straddling him, while he sat on the floor.

      One student told police that “although she did not want to participate with this touching, she was afraid of refusing” because Clay was her boss and professor, and her progress in her field of study was at his “sole discretion.”

      Defense attorneys Cara Tangaro and Scott Williams said in a statement after the plea that Clay entered the no-contest plea because he wanted to move his life forward and put the matter behind him.”

    • Latest update: June 26, 2023: sentenced to two years of probation and no jail time after agreeing in May 2023 to a plea deal of three reduced misdemeanor charges of sexual battery.
    • More details at FLOODLIT.org/a068
  • FLOODLIT.org Mormon sex abuse case #585: Elwood Bruce Haws

    • Born in 1951.
    • Also known as E. Bruce Haws.
    • Elwood Haws 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.
    • Connection to Mormon leaders: was a vice president of Deseret Trust Company for many years; Deseret Trust is an integrated auxiliary of the LDS church, and the First Presidency appoints its chairman and board of trustees.
    • Worked in the LDS church as a Church employee, .
    • Was a Church employee, at the time of alleged or confirmed criminal activity.
    • Was married in an LDS temple in 1973 .
    • 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:

      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

      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

    • Latest update: January 2023: violated probation.
    • More details at FLOODLIT.org/a585
  • FLOODLIT.org Mormon sex abuse case #187: Melvin Kay Johnson

    • Born in 1936.
    • Also known as Kay Johnson.
    • Melvin Johnson was a seminary teacher, BYU religion professor; accused by his children of sexually abusing his daughters; excommunicated, rebaptized; confessed to sexual abuse, but has not been arrested or criminally charged.
    • Worked in the LDS church as a BYU professor, Church employee, Other leader, .
    • This case involves alleged or confirmed failure to report abuse by a Mormon church leader.
    • “He worked at an LDS seminary building in Ogden, Utah; as a religion professor at the church-run Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; and at other Mormon educational institutions. Some of abuse happened on BYU campus in his office.

      Kristy, Kathy and another sister were sexually abused by their father for most of their childhood. Melvin Kay Johnson would visit the bedroom of his daughters and molest them as they slept. He divorced Kristy’s mom and married a student of his.

      Brother Johnson was a respected member of the community and although his teenage daughters did report him to authorities, he was never prosecuted legally. His ecclesiastical leaders were fully aware of the situation in the Johnson home. He was excommunicated from the church only to be reinstated with an annotation in his church record identifying him as a pedophile. Annotations to membership records are the Mormon Church’s tracking system for dangerous members. This annotation was later removed, and when the annotation was removed his new church community had no idea that he could be a potential threat to their children.

      Kristy Johnson said at a news conference that her now-deceased mother told local church leaders in Utah and California about the abuse multiple times during the 1960s and 1970s. Her father, Melvin Kay Johnson, a church employee who worked for the religious education arm of the faith, was relocated to different cities by the church after each report, but police were not contacted, she alleges in a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Utah.

      Johnson, now 55 and living in La Habra, California, said she finally reported the abuse to police in California in 1986 when she returned from a Mormon mission. Her father was never arrested, but the church kicked him out. He was allowed back one year later after he went before a church court and persuaded them he had repented, the woman said.

      When Kristy Johnson returned from her mission, her complaint says, she and her siblings reported their father to the police. Vernon said the report was made in Orange County, Calif. No criminal charges were filed. And the lawsuit says the local LDS stake president chastised Kristy Johnson for reporting a church matter to police. During the documentary, too, the siblings call Lehi police officers, who came to the house but did not arrest the elder Johnson.

      Vernon said at some point Melvin Johnson was excommunicated for a year. There was an annotation on his church record for a few years, Vernon said, then the LDS Church removed that annotation in 2007.”

    • More details at FLOODLIT.org/a187