Investigators Suspect LDS Bishop May Have Sexually Abused Children
A Latter-day Saints bishop has been arrested for owning thousands of images of child pornography, and investigators suspect he may have sexually abused children, as well. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Timothy James Hallows, a Mormon bishop from Kaysville, Utah, was booked October 16 into the Davis County jail.
Law enforcement denied Hallows bail, calling him a “substantial danger” to the community and a flight risk. Investigators arrested Hallows on suspicion of eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, which could lead to a maximum 15-year prison sentence if he is charged and convicted.
Revealed through a probable cause statement, law enforcement was made aware of Hallows’ crimes through a tip made by Microsoft. Microsoft owns the video-chat app Skype, which the company said a user had been utilizing to upload and send out pictures of child porn. Microsoft alerted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children of the crimes on August 6.
Responding to the tip, investigators from Davis County served a subpoena on Comcast on October 3. This subpoena led to Hallows’ home and IP address in Kaysville, where he was arrested. Federal, state, and local officials with the Internet Crimes Against Children task force served a search warrant of Hallows’ home on October 16, investigators found thousands of child porn images, some of them including images of child abuse.
According to the statement, Hallows talked to investigators, waving his Miranda rights against self-incrimination. The 61-year-old man admitted to taking pictures of children on various camping trips he went on as part of his role as a Mormon bishop. The statement also indicated that when asked whether he had sexual contact with kids, Hallows “…stated uh huh, and shook his head in affirmation.”
Sexual Abuse in the Mormon Church
Only in the last decade have survivors of sexual abuse in the Mormon Church started coming forward and holding their abusers in the Church accountable for their actions. According to allegations, for years the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has silenced reports of sexual abuse through quiet dismissals, not reporting cases to the police, and using personal Church-sanctioned lawyers to settle complaints with victims. In doing so, potentially hundreds of predators within the Church have not been brought to justice for their crimes, left to abuse more children.
If you were abused by an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or had your abuse report silenced by the Mormon Church, you need to know you are not alone. There are resources available to help you through this difficult time, and we want to help you know and understand your options so you can recover and heal. To learn more about your options after being sexually abused in the Mormon Church, talk with us today. We have caring, compassionate professionals standing by 24/7 to answer your questions and concerns, and we promise the information you share with us is kept confidential.