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Fake Utah marriage counselor guilty of second count of sex abuse

Published January 24, 2013 3:31 pm

Courts • 59-year-old man could face up to 30 years in prison.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A jury on Thursday convicted a fake LDS marriage counselor of sexually abusing a second woman during their sessions, less than half a year after the man was convicted of an identical charge involving another woman.

Arturo Tenorio, 59, will be sentenced next month on two counts of forcible sexual abuse, second-degree felonies each punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

A retrial played out this week in 3rd District Court after a jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision regarding the allegations of the second woman at Tenorio's first trial in August.

It took jurors two hours Thursday to decide on a verdict.

Tenorio did not testify in his own defense at either trial.

In the initial trial, defense attorney Kenneth Brown questioned why at least one of the alleged victims never tried to stop Tenorio's advances.

"I just didn't know what was going on," the woman said. "I didn't know what to think. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't put two and two together."

The other alleged victim testified that Tenorio caressed her shoulder and touched her leg, working his hand up her inner thigh. He asked her if she was aroused, she said. When he tried to grab her breasts and simulate sexual positions with her, she resisted, the woman said.

"He was like a father to me," said the woman who stopped Tenorio's advances. "My whole family is in South America and I didn't have anyone to talk to about these things. He made me really comfortable. It really made me trust him."

Both women testified that Tenorio came highly recommended by their bishop. But marriage counseling sessions turned sexual, they said, as Tenorio made comments that made them uneasy and eventually started touching them.

Two more women came forward late last year alleging Tenorio had committed similar sexual abuses against them, according to the Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic, though no new charges have been filed.

mlang@sltrib.com

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