DRAPER — A Draper man described in court documents as a "leader" in a local church was charged Wednesday with sexually abusing a boy in his congregation and being lewd around other boys.
Jeffrey Byron Head, 54, a former bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is charged in 3rd District Court with two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony; and two counts of lewdness, a class B misdemeanor.
In May of 2016, Head went to a boy's house unannounced, asking him about a recent surgery to his genitals, according to charging documents. After asking "to see the surgery," the boy pulled his pants down and Head inappropriately touched him, the charges state.
A church spokesman said Head was removed from his position after the allegations surfaced.
"Abuse of any kind cannot be tolerated in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Anyone who engages in such behavior is rightfully subject to criminal prosecution and will also face discipline from the church, including loss of church membership," spokesman Eric Hawkins said Wednesday. "Upon learning of these allegations, we took steps to notify authorities and to support their investigation into this matter. This individual was also immediately removed from any position in the church."
Head did not immediately return a message for comment Wednesday.
The same boy said Head rubbed his shoulders, removed his (the boy's) shirt and also placed the boy's hand on Head's thigh during an outing to buy milkshakes, according to the charges.
Another boy told police that Head would discuss sex "all the time," according to the charges. One night, after a church activity in August of 2017, Head drove the boy home. But when he got to the boy's driveway, he "locked the vehicle doors and stated, 'We have to figure this masturbation thing out. You're not leaving until we figure this out,'" the charges state.
The boy later told police he stayed in the car because Head "was a family friend, a leader for him to look up to, and that (Head) would be angry if he (the boy) ran away from (him)," according to charging documents.
About a week later, Head came into that boy's house "without permission and without announcing himself" while he was home alone with his younger sister, investigators wrote in the charges. Head sat on the boy's bed and the teen said they resumed their prior conversation of a sexual nature.
A third boy told investigators that Head was awkward and "really touchy feely," but said "the only touching between (them) involved shoulder rubs, hand rubbing and thigh grabbing," according to the charges.
A $150,000 warrant for Head's arrest was issued Wednesday. He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
Court documents do not indicate how old the alleged victims were except to identify them as "14 years of age or older."