Utah LDS bishop charged with owning child porn, and is denied bail

(Photo courtesy Davis County Sheriff's Office) Timothy James Hallows, 61, of Kaysville, was booked into the Davis County jail on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, accused of eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Charges were filed Monday against a Kaysville man who is accused of owning and distributing thousands of images of child pornography — and who investigators say they believe may have sexually abused children on camping trips in his role as a bishop for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Davis County attorney’s office filed eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor against Timothy James Hallows, 61. Each count is a second-degree felony, with a possible sentence of one to 15 years in prison.

Hallows was arrested Wednesday evening, and booked into the Davis County jail — where he remained Monday, jail records show. Judge Michael Edwards of the Farmington District Court denied bail for Hallows on Monday, ruling he is “a substantial danger” to the community, and a flight risk.

Hallows has served as a bishop in the Wellington Ward in Kaysville, according to a church website. A church spokesman said Thursday that Hallows had been removed from any church positions that involve “close contact with youth or children."

According to a probable cause statement, it was a tip from Microsoft, which owns the video-chat app Skype, to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that put investigators on Hallows’ trail. Microsoft told the center on Aug. 6 that a user it identified as Hallows had been using Skype to upload and distribute images of child porn.

Davis County investigators took the tip and, on Oct. 3, served a subpoena on Comcast that led to Hallows’ IP address and his home in Kaysville, the statement said. Investigators also followed three other cyber tips that traced back to Hallows.

On Wednesday, federal, state and local investigators with the Internet Crimes Against Children task force served a search warrant at Hallows’ residence, the statement said. Investigators said they found thousands of images of pornography, including images of child sexual abuse.

Hallows waived his Miranda rights against self-incrimination and talked to investigators, the statement said. Hallows described taking pictures of children on camping trips he went on in his role as a Latter-day Saint bishop. The statement did not describe the photos. The statement also said, “Hallows was told investigators believe that he has had sexual contact with children, he stated uh huh, and shook his head in affirmation.”

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