Former Utah Mormon bishop charged with sexual abuse, witness tampering

The Salt Lake Tribune/July 8, 2017

By Luke Ramseth

A former Mormon bishop from Mapleton has been charged with sexually abusing boys in 2014 when they were members of his congregation.

Erik Hughes, 51, was arrested by Mapleton police last month and remains in the Utah County jail. He was charged Friday in 4th District Court with two second-degree felony counts of forcible sexual abuse that allegedly occurred in June 2014, as well as a count of tampering with a witness, a third-degree felony.

Charging documents state that twice in June 2014, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bishop allegedly touched the genitals of a teenage boy.

"[Hughes], at the time, was the victim's LDS bishop, thereby occupying a position of special trust in relation to the victim," charges state.

After Hughes learned the abuse had been reported to police, he approached a second alleged victim last month, a probable cause statement said, "and advised the victim that he might be contacted by police, and told that victim what to say to ensure [Hughes] would not get into trouble."

Police said the second boy was also sexually abused by Hughes when he was a teenager and a member of Hughes' LDS ward.

An LDS Church spokesman last month said Hughes had been removed "from any position within the church."

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