MAPLETON, Utah — Authorities have officially filed charges against a man accused of sexually abusing underage boys in 2014 when he served as the leader of their religious congregation.
Erik Hughes, a former bishop for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was arrested last month after two alleged victims reported the man had abused them in June of 2014 during his time as their bishop.
Hughes was charged in Fourth District Court Friday with two counts of forcible sexual abuse as second-degree felonies and one count of tampering with a witness as a third-degree felony.
According to a statement of probable cause, Hughes allegedly touched a 17-year-old boy inappropriately on two separate occasions for “his own sexual gratification”.
The document states, “Defendant, at the time, was the victim’s LDS bishop, thereby occupying a position of special trust in relation to the victim.”
Police allege that after the first victim contacted them, Hughes allegedly approached a second alleged victim in June of this year and, “advised the victim that he might be contacted by police, and told the victim what to say to ensure the Defendant would not get into trouble. The second victim was also sexually abused by the Defendant when he was 17 years-old and a member of the Defendant’s LDS ward.”
Hughes remains behind bars in the Utah County Jail Saturday.