KAYSVILLE — A bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was charged Monday with possession of child pornography.
Timothy James Hallows, 61, of Kaysville, is charged in 2nd District Court with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.
A judge on Monday also ordered that Hallows be held without bail in the Davis County Jail due to him posing “a substantial danger to other persons or to the community or is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court if released on bail.”
Charging documents state: “On Oct. 16, 2019, defendant possessed at least eight of images of child pornography.”
Hallows was arrested Wednesday following at least two weeks of investigation by members of the Internet Crimes against Children task force, FBI Child Exploitation task force and the Davis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies arrived at Hallows’ house on Wednesday with a search warrant.
While talking to Hallows, 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,” according to a police affidavit.
“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,” the affidavit states.
Hallows, however, talked about camping trips with children during which he took pictures, and told investigators “that this could lead to a failed polygraph. He did these camping trips while acting his role as a bishop for the LDS Church,” according to the report.
When police told Hallows they believed that he had had sexual contact with children, “he stated, ‘Uh huh’, and shook his head in affirmation,” the affidavit says.
“Hallows made several concerning statements that led investigators to believe he has had sexual contact with children. Hallows has conducted this behavior in other states, while he travels, which is done frequently. Hallows also admitted to engaging in this conduct with international suspects. Investigators need time to conduct follow-up on forensics and potential children interviews. Hallows also has a high net worth,” according to the affidavit.
Hallows has served as bishop of the Wellington Ward in the Kaysville Utah Stake.
Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints, called the allegations serious and deeply troubling.
“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,” he said in a prepared statement Thursday.
Hawkins said the church 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.
Hallows’ initial court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in Farmington.