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WALLSBURG, Wasatch County — Authorities are asking anyone who may have been victimized by a Utah man arrested Monday on investigation of child sexual abuse to contact police.
Police arrested Arthur Ford Jepperson, 59, of Wallsburg Monday on investigation of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and tampering with a witness after police say the man sexually abused a young boy who is under the age of 13 on a hunting trip.
According to a probable cause statement, Jepperson sexually abused the boy in the fall of 2018, and when he cried told him “he was an adult now and that if he cried he wouldn’t take him hunting anymore.”
Jepperson also told the boy what he did to him was something adults do and he threatened harm to a family member if the child said anything about the incident, police said in the probable cause statement.
In the statement, police said before the hunting trip the boy considered Jepperson a hero and he had drawn pictures of him at school.
Police also said prior to the trip Jepperson had told the boy to “lay down and take a nap with him,” according to the probable cause statement.
When confronted by police about the boy’s allegations, Jepperson repeatedly told police he’d never been alone “with that boy,” the affidavit states. He also gave police two names to corroborate his story, according to the probable cause statement.
Those two witnesses Jepperson named were unable to verify that he had never been alone with the boy, police stated in the affidavit.
Sgt. Spencer Cannon with Utah County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release police are asking anyone who may have been victimized by Jepperson to contact the sheriff’s office at 801-794-3970.
According to court records, Jepperson was charged in July of 1997 with child abuse neglect, class A misdemanor, but pleaded not guilty; the case was dismissed without prejudice in June of 1998.