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‘Ritualistic’ Child Sex Abuse, Child Sex Trafficking Investigation Launched In Utah


By Travis Uresk |July 29th 2022 | Human Trafficking | From April 2021 to July 21st 2022 |


“In April of 2021, an investigation began into ritualistic child sexual abuse and child sex trafficking that occurred in Utah County. The ensuing investigation discovered that other victims had previously reported similar forms of ritualistic sexual abuse and trafficking in Utah County, Juab County, and Sanpete County between 1990 and 2010.


On May 31, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office had a press release about investigating allegations of “ritualistic sexual abuse and trafficking” happening within the county.


The Utah County Sheriff’s Office investigates what the agency calls “reports of ritualistic child sexual abuse,” which has oddly spurred outrage by a local country lawyer who asks for the sheriff’s resignation over investigating these claims.


Portions of these allegations were confirmed. These allegations are being investigated by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with other local and federal agencies.”

The press release ended by urging the public to share any kind of information they might have, specifically mentioning how the sheriff’s office is aware some victims have been intimidated into silence.


“We are pleading with the public and encourage victims, or individuals with knowledge of these crimes, to contact the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Special Victim’s Unit so that they can be offered all the assistance possible. We understand that there are individuals who have concerns for their safety and/or well-being that have been silenced. We need your help.”


Leavitt stated that Sheriff Smith used this investigation to sully Leavitt’s reelection efforts, “The sheriff’s office is using its position for political gain.”


Leavitt also confessed that his name is connected to this investigation, stating that a case dismissed in 2014 named him and his wife in a witness statement from all those years back.

“I learned that my wife and I were part of those allegations, alleging that we were guilty of cannibalizing young children and murdering young children.”


Leavitt added that the case was dismissed “because the evidence was so outlandish and so unbelievable.” But, the case was dropped without prejudice “due to trouble getting discovery to defense counsel,” according to court records.


The county attorney labeled the victim statement from years back as “151 pages of utter baloney” and said the complainant was “tragically mentally ill.”


Sheriff Smith stated, “These are victims of crime who have mustered the courage to come forward, and this is what we call them is mentally ill?”


The Utah County sheriff believes Leavitt “is using his authority and his pulpit to bully, distract and mischaracterize the facts of an ongoing investigation.”


Investigation Confirms Ritual Child Sexual Abuse, Sex Trafficking Ring in Three Utah Counties

By Radix Verum MAY 31, 2022 Patriots' Soapbox


UTAH COUNTY, UTAH, May 31, 2022 — The Utah County Sheriff’s Office has issued a press release confirming that an investigation into ritualistic child sex abuse and sex trafficking is ongoing and they are requesting information from any members of the public who might know something:


In April of 2021, an investigation began into ritualistic child sexual abuse and child sex trafficking that occurred in Utah County. The ensuing investigation discovered that other victims had previously reported 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. Portions of these allegations were confirmed. These allegations are being investigated by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with other local and federal agencies. We are pleading with the public and encourage victims, or individuals with knowledge of these crimes, to contact the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Special Victim’s Unit, so that they can be offered all the assistance possible. We understand that there are individuals who have concerns for their safety and/or well-being, who have been silenced. We need your help.

Contact the Utah County Sheriff’s Office at (801)851-4010. – Utah County Sheriffs Office


I reached out for comment with some questions and received the following responses:

  1. Can you provide any general details on the nature of the ritual aspect?

-We aren’t commenting on specifics of what makes this abuse ritualistic. Generally, however, it could be an organized effort by a group or individual, or it could have a religious component to it. We just aren’t commenting about that right now.

  1. Have you considered or have you already gotten federal agencies involved?

-We do have Federal agencies involved with us already.

  1. Was the trafficking limited to Utah, or was it inter-state?

-With what we have now it is just within Utah. But we recognize that it is possible, maybe even likely, that what we are finding will flow beyond just the state of Utah. What we know has already involved three neighboring counties in Utah.

I will continue to provide updates on this investigation as I receive them.

I have included some information that may or may not be relevant to the investigation but includes similar allegations in the same area:

Mormon Stories #1311: Claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse within Mormonism: An Introduction


Mormon Stories #1312: Dr. David Frankfurter: The History of Rumors of Satanic Abuse Pt. 1



21 arrested in Utah human trafficking sting, some victims trafficked through social media


Published March 24, 2022

By Audrey Conklin| Fox News


Utah authorities have arrested 21 individuals involved in a large-scale human trafficking sting.


The Utah County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO), in collaboration with seven other Utah police departments, Federal Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Utah Attorney General’s Office, rescued three trafficking victims during their operation conducted between Feb. 14-17.


Some victims were trafficked through social media, though UCSO told Fox News Digital it could not disclose which platforms due to ongoing investigations. The sheriff's office noted that some are "less-known or less-used" social platforms.


One of the three rescued victims included an 18-year-old Honduran immigrant.


He had sought help from suspects who eventually "took his passport and his phone and forced him into human trafficking sex operations and would not let him go," Utah County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.


"This young man thought he was working to earn his freedom. He spoke almost no English and felt trapped with no way out," Cannon continued.


21 people were arrested during those days, which included three men who were traveling to meet children for sex. One of those men, "had in his possession ropes, sex toys, and lingerie."


A forensic examination of eight cell phones allowed law enforcement to identify several potential victims, traffickers and a witness who cooperated with authorities.


Follow-up forensic examination of eight cell phones identified several potential victims, traffickers and a cooperating witness in a current human trafficking case being investigated by Unified Police Department.


Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes' office issued a statement Thursday saying it is "observing a growing number of teens are putting themselves in danger" on social media "by getting involved with strangers who pretend to be friendly but who are, in reality, dangerous."


"Young people may not be fully aware of the risk involved," the release states.


The primary focus of the operation was to identify and rescue victims of human trafficking or sex trafficking, USCO said. An investigation into the trafficking case is ongoing.


21 arrested in Utah sex trafficking operation; police say it is 'not even the tip of the iceberg'


By Pat Reavy, KSL.com | Posted - March 24, 2022

SPANISH FORK — A recent operation headed up by the Utah County Sheriff's Office to combat human sex trafficking resulted in 21 arrests and three women being rescued, according to the sheriff's office.


But Sheriff's Lt. Jason Randall, head of the investigations unit, said despite the success of the operation, it represented just a small fraction of the overall problem of sex trafficking in Utah and throughout the nation.


"This isn't even the tip of the iceberg. This is like a snowflake on an iceberg. We are barely scratching the surface," he said.


On Thursday, the sheriff's office held a press conference to announce the results of an undercover operation held Feb. 14-17. During the campaign, investigators went online looking for both victims of human trafficking, as well as people — mainly men — who were willing to engage with women or children in illegal sexual activities.


Utah County Sheriff won't resign despite county attorney's demand

By: Jenna Bree Jun 01, 2022


PROVO, Utah — Tensions were flying between the Utah County Attorney and Sheriff Mike Smith on Wednesday.


County Attorney David Leavitt asked Smith to resign, even calling for an investigation into his activities. It all stems from an investigation into allegations of a ritualistic child sexual abuse and child sex trafficking case that took place over a 20-year period beginning in 1990.

Leavitt said the case, which spans three Utah counties, involved a woman who he says was mentally ill and made claims of sex abuse against 15 people. Those allegations were found not to be credible, causing the case to be dismissed.


“There is no organized ring of abuse," said Leavitt. "It was it was debunked more than ten years ago. The allegations that are there are so outlandish and so crazy that they're just not true.”



During a news conference, Leavitt admitted that he and his wife were named in the allegations, saying the two were not guilty of cannibalizing and murdering young children.

"If it can be demonstrated that the sheriff has used his office for political purposes and there is no evidence of that I would bring to court, but if an investigation can demonstrate it, then I am saying the sheriff should resign," said Leavitt.


A FOX 13 News report revealed one of the targets of the investigation was a therapist who was previously charged with a series of sex crimes against young female family members.

The Utah County Attorney's Office dropped charges against the therapist without prejudice and he was never convicted.


About two hours after Leavitt made his plea for Smith to resign, the sheriff responded, saying what the County Attorney said was disturbing and even contradictory on more than one occasion, and that he even possibly tainted the sheriff's office investigation.


"I will tell you right now, I think that this is probably the best way we could use public funds is to investigate child sexual abuse," said Sheriff Smith. "I take exception to any victim who comes forward and is characterized as tragically mentally ill, how dare you?"

Smith added that he will not be resigning.


“This is some of the most egregious crimes that happen in our communities, when our children are victimized to this level," he said. "And we will look into this. You can label it and deflect and say whatever you want, we will continue to investigate.”


The sheriff said his department's investigation is ongoing and that they were contacted by no less than 20 people since posted about this crimes Tuesday.


“I think that this is probably the best way we could use public funds, is to investigate child sexual sexual abuse," said Smith.


It is worth noting that both Leavitt and Smith are up for re-election for their respective positions. The sheriff shot down any notion that the information about the investigation was released for political gain.



Utah County: 120 Come Forward with Information in ‘Ritualistic Child Sexual Abuse’ Investigation


By CULLEN MCCUE

July 3, 2022


The 120 figure includes victims and people who know victims, according to the Utah County Sheriff's office.


An investigation into “ritualistic child sexual abuse” has continued to turn heads after 120 victims and those who know victims have come forward, a Utah sheriff reported. A local prosecutor was reportedly named in the probe during a May 31 press conference, though the sheriff’s office has not released names of potential victims or suspects.


The Utah County Sheriff’s Department has asked for assistance in the investigation from the FBI, which it has received. “It’s common practice for the FBI to offer assistance, when requested, to our law enforcement partners. We are assisting, and so I will defer to the lead agency, which is the Utah County Sheriff’s Office,” said FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker.


“I don’t know the exact number, but it is now over 120 people who have contacted us. [Of that number], I am sure. There are likely more than 120 at this point,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon told The Epoch Times.


The 120 figure is comprised of both victims and people who know victims, Cannon said.


According to the department, the alleged abuse took place between 1990 and 2010. The Utah County Sheriff’s office previously announced the investigation — which has been underway since April 2021 — in a May 31 press release.


The department detailed its investigation into “ritualistic sexual abuse and child sex trafficking” in Utah’s second largest county. In addition, law enforcement uncovered similar instances in neighboring Juab County and Sanpete County during the same period.


Utah County Attorney David Leavitt was reportedly among those named in the probe.

Leavitt has denied the allegations and described one of the alleged victims as “tragically mentally ill” after the May 31 press release. “I learned that my wife and I were part of those allegations, allegedly that we were guilty of cannibalizing young children, and murdering young children,” Leavitt said before denying the allegations.


The prosecutor has also criticized the handling of the investigation by Sheriff Mike Smith and has accused him of conducting a politically motivated “witch hunt” in an election year.

“Mr. Leavitt named himself,” Cannon, who did not confirm or deny any names, told The Epoch Times. “What I will say, however, is that the case Mr. Leavitt referred to is not the case we began investigating in April 2021. He implies otherwise, but he is wrong,” Cannon said.

Another suspect is a therapist previously charged with a series of sex crimes against young female family members, according to Adam Herbets of Fox 13.


Police said they had a taped confession, but the Utah County Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges.


The investigation is currently ongoing.


Sheriff Announces County Attorney Is Being Investigated in Utah County “Ritualistic Sex Abuse” Case — County Attorney Responds to Allegations Calling Witness “Mentally Ill”


Posted on July 21, 2022 by Constitutional Nobody- USSA News


On Tuesday night Utah County Sheriff’s office accused County Attorney David Leavitt and his wife were subjects of a child sex abuse investigation approximately 10 years ago involving ritualistic sexual abuse. Dozens of victims stepped forward at the time to make allegations against at least 15 members of the community. The alleged sex ring operative in Utah, Juab and Sanpete counties in Utah between 1990 and 2010.


In response, County Attorney David Leavitt held a press on Wednesday morning.


Leavitt called for the sheriff’s resignation after the allegations were made public.


Leavitt told reporters earlier today that he and his wife were accused of cannibalizing young children and murdering young children. Leavitt called the accuser and victim in the case “tragically mentally ill.”


Attorney Leavitt also called for an investigation of Sheriff Smith’s handling of the allegations.


Here is a report from last month on the ritualistic abuse case.


Utah County Attorney David Leavitt is calling for an investigation of Sheriff Mike Smith’s handling of allegations involving “ritualistic sex abuse.”


Leavitt called a press conference Wednesday morning after the Utah County Sheriff’s Office told the media the night prior that it is investigating a child sex abuse ring that operated in Utah, Juab, and Sanpete counties between 1990 and 2010.


At the press conference, Leavitt announced that he and his wife were subjects of a child sex abuse investigation approximately 10 years ago, but claimed those allegations were totally untrue.


“I learned that my wife and I were part of those allegations, allegedly that we were guilty of cannibalizing young children, and murdering young children,” Leavitt said.


Leavitt called the victim of the case ‘tragically mentally ill’ and dismissed that he or his wife had ever participated in ritual child sex abuse.


“To have [my wife’s] reputation, her professional character and everything about her life’s work called into question brought into question by a few cheap political opportunists offends me to the depth of my being. It does nothing but to demean the integrity of me, my wife, and 15 other members of this community who had absolutely nothing to do with a discredited case from 15 years ago,” Leavitt said


Leavitt said the woman’s allegations named “15 to 20” other people and that the case was debunked. Leavitt suggested the timing of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office announcement of its ‘ritualistic sex abuse’ investigation is politically motivated.“


“There is no organized ring of abuse, it was debunked more than 10 years ago, it was dismissed by someone who was not in any respect affiliated with me and it wasn’t even investigated in a serious way by the sex crimes task force of Utah County. That this all occurs less than one week before ballots drop in an election in which I am participating causes me tremendous concern,” he said.


At a hastily-called press conference Wednesday afternoon, Sheriff Smith said Leavitt has his facts wrong.


Smith said the ritual sex abuse investigation involves more than just the case where Leavitt said he and his wife were accused.


“Several times, Mr. Leavitt named himself and mentioned cannibalism and murder. This investigation is about child sex abuse,” Smith said. “I take exception to any victim coming forward and being categorized as ‘tragically mentally ill’. How dare you. These are victims of crimes who have mustered the courage to come forward and this is what you call them? Mentally ill. How dare you.”


Smith said Leavitt may have compromised their case by making certain statements at the press conference earlier in the day.


Utah County seeking tips on 'ritualistic' child sex abuse across three counties


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