Former bishop of Church of Jesus Christ arrested for possessing child pornography pleads not guilty
A former bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is accused of possessing child pornography but plead not guilty on Friday, although it’s not bishop’s first accusation of sexual crime against a child.
62-year-old Timothy James Hallows’ first appearance in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City was on Friday after the authorities located thousands of pornographic pictures, including "images of child sexual abuse" and children and adults in sexual situations. He plead not guilty, however. A change of plea hearing has been scheduled for June 30.
Hallows stated that he "done nothing regarding sexual contact with children long term," although during the investigation he admitted of having more than 100 pictures of child, and distributing images of child sex abuse on Skype. He also said that he used the pictures for sexual gratification.
Hallows refused to take a polygraph test.
"He described camping trips with children, where he took pictures of children, expressing that this could lead to a failed polygraph," the documents state. "He did these camping trips while acting his role as a bishop for the LDS Church"
According to the Department of Justice, prosecutors will ask the judge to impose a term of supervised release for the defendant as part of the sentencing.
When Hallows was arrested, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement through Eric Hawkins, Director of Media Relations:
"The allegations against this individual are serious and deeply troubling. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 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. 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."