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Magna sect's counselor gets probation in sex case

Published July 6, 2012 3:30 pm

Courts • The president of the church formerly based in Magna is serving up to life in prison.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A religious sect member who said he had sex with an underage girl at the direction of his prophet has been sentenced to probation, as part of a plea agreement for testifying against the sect's leader.

Geody M. Harman, 38, was sentenced Friday in 3rd District Court on a third-degree felony count of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. Judge Judith Atherton gave Harman credit for 240 days he had already spent in jail.

In March, Harman testified against Terrill Dalton, the president of the Church of the Firstborn of the General Assembly of Heaven, a sect based for a time in Magna.

Harman, who was Dalton's former first counselor in the church, said he believed he was obeying a commandment — following one of the church's "higher doctrines" of "giving seed" — when he had sex with the girl, then 15. Harman said he had experienced an "impression" that he should have sex with the teen and conferred with Dalton.

"It's God," Harman testified that Dalton told him. "You better go fulfill it."

A jury convicted Dalton, 45, of rape. Atherton sentenced Dalton in May to consecutive terms of three years to life.

As part of his 36-month probation, Harman will have to complete sex offender treatment. He will not be allowed to have contact with children other than his own.

afalk@sltrib.com