Former LDS bishop sentenced to jail for sexually abusing teen boys

(Photo courtesy Salt Lake County Jail) Jeffrey Byron Head

A former Latter-day Saint bishop convicted of inappropriately touching one teenage boy and lewd conduct with two others has been sentenced to four months behind bars and four years of probation.

In April, a jury convicted 54-year-old Jeffrey Byron Head of attempted forcible sexual abuse, two counts of lewdness and sexual battery.

Head received credit for 45 days he has already served in jail, and he will have to register as a sex offender.

The Draper man was charged in December with assaulting a boy in his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward, or congregation. The teenager, who was 16 or 17 at the time, said that Head came to his home in May 2016 and had asked to see his genitals after he’d undergone surgery. The boy reported that Head touched him inappropriately.

Several months later, the boy said, Head took him out for milkshakes and removed his shirt and began rubbing his shoulders before he placed his hand on the boy’s thighs near his genitals. The boy said Head also talked to him about masturbation.

A second teenager told police Head had locked him inside a car so they could talk about sex, asking the boy about masturbation and whether he became aroused while kissing girls.

“We have to figure this masturbation thing out,” Head allegedly told the teen. “You’re not leaving until we figure this out.”

A third teenager told police Head was “really touchy-feely,” and that he gave the boy shoulder rubs, hand rubs and grabbed his thighs.

An church spokesman said in December that Head had been “immediately removed” as bishop of his ward when the church became aware of the allegations.

“Abuse of any kind cannot be tolerated in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” he said in a statement. “Anyone who engages in such behavior is rightfully subject to criminal prosecution and will also face discipline from the church, including loss of church membership.”