Davis County LDS bishop arrested on child exploitation charges; Church calls allegations ‘serious and deeply troubling’

Timothy James Hallows. Photo: Davis County

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah, Oct. 17, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The bishop of a Kaysville Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was booked into jail on eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, and has admitted to having sexual relations with children, officials say.

Timothy James Hallows, 61, was booked into the Davis County Jail on Wednesday night on suspicion of the eight second-degree felonies. Church officials confirm he has since been released from his leadership position.

A probable cause statement filed by an officer of the Davis County Sheriff’s office says that on Aug. 6 of this year, Skype officials filed a complaint with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding a user who uploaded and publicly shared child sexual exploitation materials.

The user’s screen name was given as “timhallows.” Davis County investigators viewed the materials and found the files constitute child sexual exploitation material, the statement says, including videos and photos showing nude or partially clothed prepubescent girls, some of whom posed with nude adult males. At least one child was shown engaged in a sex act.

The information and materials led investigator’s to Hallow’s Kaysville residence. State, local and federal investigators with the Internet Crimes against Children Task force and the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force executed a warrant on Wednesday.

“Hallows was waived his Miranda rights and agreed to speak with investigators,” the probable cause statement says. “He admitted to distributing child sexual abuse material during online communications while using Skype.

“Hallows admitted to owning an unknown amount of images of child sexual abuse, but estimated the numbers over 100.”

Investigators at Hallows’ residence “located thousands of images of pornography,” the probable cause statement says.

“Hallows stated the children are not real, and provided several incidents of justification and rationalization for the conduct,” it says.

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“Hallows refused to take a polygraph examination with questions regarding hands on sexual contact with young children. He further stated that he has done nothing regarding sexual contact with children long term. He described camping trips with children, where he took pictures of children, expressing that this could lead to a failed polygraph.”

The statement says Hallows “did these camping trips while acting his role as a bishop for the LDS church. Hallows was told investigators believe that he has had sexual contact with children, he stated ‘Uh huh,’ and shook his head in affirmation.”

“Hallows hold a special position of trust in the community as a bishop in Kaysville,” the probable cause statement says. “This includes unfettered access to children in his congregation and in private.”

Hallows is being held without bail, in part because his net worth makes him a flight risk, the statement says.

The probable cause statement says investigators believe Hallows has committed similar crimes in other states, including Arizona.

LDS Church response

LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins released a statement to Gephardt Daily. It follows, in its entirety:

“The allegations against this individual are serious and deeply troubling. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no tolerance for abuse of any kind, including child pornography, and teaches its members and leaders that such behavior is offensive to God and to His Church.

“When local leaders learned of these allegations, this individual was immediately removed from any position that would place him in close contact with youth or children. This is done to ensure the safety of others and to allow this individual to address these serious allegations.”

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