Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Rapist in ‘Holy Ghost’ case is sentenced to prison
Courts » Leader of sect told 15-year-old girl it was God’s will that they have sex.
First Published May 11 2012 02:37 pm • Last Updated May 13 2012 12:07 am

The leader of a religious sect once based in Magna has been sentenced to six years to life for raping a teenage member of his congregation.

In 2005, Terrill Dalton told the 15-year-old girl he was "the Holy Ghost" and promised her "great blessings" if she had sex with him, according to testimony and court documents. Dalton also told the teen it was God’s will that she have sex with his second in command, 38-year-old Geody Harman.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

On Friday, 3rd District Judge Judith Atherton sentenced the 45-year-old Dalton to consecutive terms of three years to life.

Dalton was convicted by a jury in March of two first-degree felony counts of rape.

He was the president of the Church of the Firstborn of the General Assembly of Heaven, a sect with fewer than 100 members that later moved to Idaho before settling in Montana. Church members called him "God in the flesh," and prosecutors said Dalton "served [the victim] up on a platter" to Harman, his lieutenant.

"[Dalton] made me feel as if no matter what I did, I could never be right before God," the victim, now 22, testified at trial in March. "I tried so hard. ... There was always something bigger he wanted me to do."

Defense attorney Rudy Bautista said Dalton maintains his innocence. Bautista said he plans to appeal the case on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired before charges were filed.

The defense attorney also said he believes Dalton should be screened for mental health issues.

"He says he was receiving communication and scriptures that if you and I read them, they wouldn’t make any sense," Bautista said. "It’s something that should be looked at."

Harman has pleaded guilty to third-degree felony unlawful sex with a minor. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month. Because of his cooperation in the case, prosecutors will recommend the man not serve any jail time.


story continues below
story continues below

afalk@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.