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FARMINGTON — A former youth counselor was sentenced to prison Monday for sexual activity with a teenage boy he met through the popular Especially for Youth religious seminar.
Keldon Severn "KC" Cook, 29, was sentenced Monday to four concurrent terms of zero to five years in prison. He pleaded guilty last month to one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old. All the charges are third-degree felonies.
Investigators say Cook met the boy in 2012 when he was 14. Cook was assigned as his counselor at Brigham Young University during the weeklong program focused on the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The two stayed in contact through social media and texting, police say, and began sending "inappropriate" and "disgusting" messages. The boy told investigators the explicit conversations confused him but that he looked up to Cook as a mentor.
Shortly after the boy turned 16, Cook allegedly met with him at the LDS temple in Bountiful to "catch up," then went to a nearby park where Cook "made advances" toward the boy. They met twice more at the same Davis County park in 2014 when the boy was 17.
"The minor male stated to law enforcement that the defendant persuaded him that the contact they had was acceptable and that it was acceptable because (Cook) was his EFY counselor," charges state.
Cook was originally charged with four counts of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony; one count each of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of a minor; and one third-degree felony count of dealing in materials harmful to a minor.