Former Latter-day Saint bishop, West Bountiful mayor gets maximum sentence after child abuse convictions

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah, March 2, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — Carl Matthew Johnson, a former Latter-day Saint bishop and two-term mayor of West Bountiful, has learned his sentence for multiple counts of aggravated sexual abuse of children in the 1980s and 1990s.

A Davis County judge handed down the maximum sentence on three counts of aggravated sexual abuse, a first-degree felony, and one count of sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.

Johnson, 78, was sentenced to serve three terms of nine years to life each for first-degree felonies, and one term of one to 15 years on a second-degree felony. The sentences will run consecutively, the judge ruled.

An additional seven charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child were dismissed without prejudice as part of a plea deal accepted Jan. 24.

In the cases considered, all offenses were committed between 1983 and 1997.

Johnson, a resident of Orem in recent years, was arrested in September by the Davis County Sheriff’s Office.

“During the investigation, multiple victims were identified and interviewed, and all disclosed numerous instances of abuse by Johnson,” charging documents say. “Johnson was a Davis County resident when the crimes occurred.”

The probable cause statement says “Johnson has showed a long history of sexual abuse of children some as young as 2 years old. Johnson admitted that he has a problem of controlling his sexual urges and has struggled with this problem for most of his life.

“Carl has held numerous positions of trust in his church as being a bishop in the LDS church and as a prior mayor of *Bountiful.” (*Johnson was mayor of West Bountiful in the 1990s.)

Johnson’s charging documents say police interviewed three witnesses, all of whom said Johnson held a position of trust in their lives. The victims interviewed at that time reported being between the ages of 5 and 12 at the time of their first abuse.

Johnson currently is an inmate at the Davis County jail.


Carl Johnson Photo Utah Sex Offender Registry 2023


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