Officials receive reports of more potential sex abuse victims in former mayor, bishop case

KUTV, CBS-2 [Salt Lake City UT]

September 9, 2022

By Lincoln Graves

Authorities confirmed they have received calls about potential additional victims after 2News broke the story that a former Utah mayor and Latter-day Saint bishop had been arrested on suspicion of child sex abuse.

“Since the report was released that Johnson was taken into custody, we have received other reports of additional victims,” said Stephanie Dinsmore, spokesperson for the Davis County Sheriff’s Office.

Carl Johnson, 77, was arrested Wednesday at his Orem home and booked into the Davis County Jail on seven counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. The allegations come from an ongoing investigation that covers several decades and involves victims who were as young as 2 years old at the time of the alleged abuse.

Johnson was the mayor of West Bountiful in the 90s, and he served in various leadership roles in his local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including the ward’s bishop.

Thursday night, the Davis County Sheriff’s Office told 2News they were asking any additional victims to come forward.

“We just want victims to feel comfortable that if they do come forward, we are going to listen to them, we are going to hear what they have to say and we’re going to pursue justice,” said DCSO Capt. Taylor West.

Friday morning, Dinsmore couldn’t comment on the number of new potential victims that came forward. But she said additional investigations could take quite some time.

“The investigation is going take a significant amount of time because we’re talking about a case that took place in the 80s and 90s and potentially even more recently,” said Dinsmore. “So there’s a lot that our investigators need to comb through.”

The news of additional victims potentially coming forward isn’t a surprise to the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

In a statement release Friday, SNAP wrote in part, “Given Johnson’s age and extended career, we suspect there are many more than six victims. We hope they find the fortitude and confidence to approach law enforcement with their information and get the help they need.”