The investigation into “ritualized child sexual abuse” in Utah continues to grow more disturbing as Utah County Attorney David Leavitt is proven wrong and documents related to a connected case are released to the public.
Last week The Last American Vagabond (TLAV) reported on the unusual situation unfolding in 3 different counties in Utah, with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office announcing they were working with multiple county and federal agencies investigating reports of ritualistic child sexual abuse from as far back as 1990. The Sheriff’s Office said an investigation “into ritualistic child sexual abuse and child sex trafficking” in Utah County began in April 2021. The investigation subsequently discovered previous reports alleging “similar forms of ritualistic sexual abuse and trafficking” that occurred in Utah County, Juab County, and Sanpete County during the time between 1990 and 2010.
Following the May 31st announcement of this investigation by Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith, Utah County Attorney David Leavitt held a press conference where he shared a 151-page document titled “victim statement” related to a 2012 case involving allegations of sexual abuse of children. Leavitt and several other people are named in the statement as being involved with a group practicing ritual child sex abuse. He claimed the Sheriff’s investigation was a political attack on him related to the June 28th primary elections in Utah.
Leavitt is the younger brother of former 3-time Utah Governor Michael Okerlund Leavitt. The father of the two men is Dixie Leavitt, the founder of the Leavitt Group, one of the largest independent insurance brokers in the nation.
While the accusations within the victim statement are extremely disturbing — especially if true — David Leavitt continues to frame the Sheriff’s investigation as rubbish. In a recent interview with ABC4 Leavitt called Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith a “Qanon Sheriff.”
In response, Sheriff Smith told TLAV:
“We are investigating the sexual abuse of children. The only one making statements about Qanon info is Leavitt. We find it interesting he is trying to divert attention away from the legitimacy of an investigation into the sexual abuse of children.”
David Leavitt Lied About the 2012 Case
During his press conference, David Leavitt described the 2012 report as “151 pages of utter baloney” and called the woman who made the allegations “tragically mentally ill.” He called for PIO Sgt. Spencer Cannon and Sheriff Mike Smith to resign. Leavitt is also calling for an independent investigation into the case to see where the case documents originate.
While Sheriff Mike Smith has refused to release specific details of the current investigation, he and Leavitt both referenced a case that was filed in 2012 and dismissed in 2014. As TLAV reported in part 1 of this series, the previous case mentioned by Leavitt and Smith is related to David Hamblin, a man who was accused of rape and arrested in 2012. The Utah Daily Herald reported at the time:
“A Provo man was arrested earlier this week on several rape charges stemming from incidents in the 1990s. David Hamblin is being charged with 12 counts of rape of a child, three counts of sodomy of a child, one count of attempted sodomy of a child, all first-degree felonies, and two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.
The charges are based on events that reportedly happened between 1991 and 1998.”
Charges against Hamblin would indeed be dismissed without prejudice in 2014, meaning they could be refiled in the future if the case comes together.
While the local news in Utah has so far declined to name Hamblin, TLAV can confirm that the documents in question relate to the accusations against a David Lee Hamblin of Utah. In fact, KSL TV in Utah reported that Hamblin has recently filed to have the court records expunged. However, the Attorney General’s Office has filed an objection to the expungement request, saying, “The petitioner is currently the subject of an on-going criminal investigation by four law enforcement agencies into the same conduct which was the basis of the 1999 arrest.”
Despite David Leavitt’s claims that the accusations by one of Hamblin’s alleged victims were “utter baloney” or “ludicrous”, courtroom audio recordings obtained by KSL Investigators shed some light on the dismissal of 18 felony child sexual abuse charges against David Hamblin.
First, Leavitt told KSL that his predecessor, prosecutor David Sturgill, dismissed the case because “the allegations were so untenable and unbelievable.” But, as KSL reports, his statements do not line up with the court recordings.
“The allegations are some of the worst allegations of sexual abuse that I’ve come across in the many years that I’ve been prosecuting these types of cases,” Sturgill said during a hearing in May 2013. KSL notes that at this same hearing defense attorney Michael Esplin recognized the gravity of the accusations, stating “If Mr. Hamblin is convicted of these charges, he will never see the light of day. I mean, these are – he’ll be there for the rest of his life in prison.”
KSL notes that neither the prosecution nor the defense “shared concerns during the hearing that the allegations were outlandish or unbelievable.” Instead, it appears the case was eventually dismissed because of difficulties in obtaining records and taking victim statements. At a hearing in March 2014, former Utah County Attorney David Sturgill moved to dismiss the charges to potentially refile the case at a later date.
“There’s a lot more that needs to be done with this case, and it’s just not coming together,” Sturgill said. “I’m getting resistance from DCFS (Division of Child and Family Services)… and then there’s other medical records that we’re having some trouble gathering. A lot of it’s due to just the age of this case. It’s an extremely delayed disclosure.”
At the very least, these recordings reveal that Utah County Attorney David Leavitt’s efforts to dismiss the Utah County Sheriff’s investigation to be a farce. Despite his efforts to derail the investigation as “baloney” Leavitt has created more interest in his potential role in the case. So what exactly is in the victim’s statement and how does it related to Leavitt?
Victim Statement #3 and David Leavitt
Before diving into the accusations against David Leavitt, it’s worth reminding readers that he, like all Americans, is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. We do not share this information to impugn or accuse him of crimes we currently do not have evidence for. However, as a public figure in law enforcement with a controversial past, Leavitt should be questioned and held to a higher standard than your average person. Especially because it is David Leavitt who brought himself into this investigation by holding his press conference and outing himself as one of the accused child abusers.
The document in question is labeled “Victim Statement #3” and is one of 8 different victim statements included in a larger file from the Provo Police Department’s investigation into David Lee Hamblin. This file has now been released to the public domain by citizen journalist Jenny Hatch from an open records request with the Provo PD. Hatch is keeping the files available until June 20th, but TLAV is making them available for all researchers.
On page 49 of the document we see the mention of David Leavitt as being involved in a “prostitute house” with children. “He (David Hamblin), David Leavitt, and Joe Bennion would all jokingly call Rosie “Madam” to talk about her running a prostitute house,” the document says.
A chart describing “Experience #50” lists David and Rosie Hamblin, and David Leavitt as people involved in abuse between 1993 and 1995 at a house in Provo. Under a section titled “Other Occurrences, Times, and Locations” it states:
“This happened at nearly every party or when people came over to our homes, however the frequency refers to how many times this happened with David Leavitt. This also happened when we were at parties of other group members, like when we were at Gordon Bowen’s house for a few different parties. REDACTED often pushed us on to many people trying to get us to have sex with them. She did this at many parties and places she took us.”
The alleged victim goes on to describe David Hamblin and David Leavitt remarking about how they were the “cutest thing”. The statement says “David L. grabbed me around the waist and said that he would love to do that, and kissed me on the forehead. Rosie walked away and on the way out David L. said to David H. that he was going to stop by in the next couple days.”
The statement goes on for another 150 pages describing 118 cases of ritualized sexual abuse. Future reports may explore these incidents, as well as the contents of the other seven victim statements, as well as the people listed in the documents.
David Leavitt Accused of Not Investigating Prominent Cases
Even before the Utah County Sheriff’s Office announced the investigation into ritualized child sexual abuse, David Leavitt was facing criticism for his role in shuttering the Special Victim Unit of the Utah County Attorney’s Office, and allegations of protecting his friends from potential prosecution.
In March 2020, Deseret News reported that Leavitt’s office had “dissolved” the SVU focused on prosecution of sex crimes and domestic violence. At the time, Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith said the SVU has been successful and seeing it dissolved was “frustrating.”
“These are our most vulnerable in our society, when we’re talking sex abuse against children and women. And that’s where our emphasis needs to be, is on them and making it better for them,” Smith told the Deseret.
Leavitt made the change in 2019, taking teams of attorneys and investigators within the SVU and spreading them across various other teams in an attempt to focus the investigations which had been languishing in a backlog. In a statement published Friday, David Leavitt said the “old system” consisted of a “small team of attorneys” with a “400+ case backlog” and thus the County Attorney’s Office adopted an “all hands on deck” approach to screen and charge cases. The statement says the office has “focused on hiring SVU-experienced prosecutors” and expanding resources and training.
“You don’t perpetuate poorly functioning systems and expect them to succeed,” Leavitt’s statement reads. “We brought the backlog current, SVU prosecution is a priority in the office, and we dedicate substantial resources to it.”
In January 2021, Leavitt was accused of a conflict of interest in a case of stalking involving a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the Church of Mormon. KSL reported that a woman was suing Leavitt because she claims Leavitt attempted to protect her longtime stalker. Leavitt arranged a meeting with the woman to propose a deal for her stalker.
“Utah County Attorney David Leavitt planned to drop the stalking case against Mark Stewart Allen. But Allen, 59, of Lindon, would have to agree that a time limit on the filing of another criminal charge wouldn’t apply,” KSL reported.
The woman’s lawsuit says that David Leavitt acknowledged in their meeting the alleged stalker was a Latter-day Saint mission companion of his brother, Eric.
“How is that not a conflict of interest?” said the woman. “The whole situation didn’t feel right.”
The woman’s attorneys provided KSL with an audio recording of the meeting with Leavitt.
In January of this year, Leavitt was also accused of conflicts of interest from other Utah prosecutors. “The FOX 13 Investigative team has spoken with more than a half-dozen past and present members of the Utah County Attorney’s Office who are “deeply concerned” with what they describe as unethical behavior by their boss,” FOX 13 reported.
Leavitt was accused of intervening in cases where he knows the accused personally, including in a case involving a “handyman” who did masonry work at the county attorney’s family home in Orem, Utah.
As it stands, we have evidence that David Leavitt has attempted to downplay the seriousness of the accusations levied against him and other Utahns in 2012. Whether or not this will play into the current investigation by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office will become clear as it unfolds.
While it is a disheartening thought to imagine Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith using these disturbing issues as a political weapon, it is worth noting that since the investigation began in April 2021 we have yet to see any subpoenas or indictments.
In part 3 of this investigation we will provide new updates on the Utah investigation as it develops. We will also look into the history of accusations of ritualized child sexual abuse in Utah and its relation to the Mormon Church.
Source: The Last American Vagabond
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