McCleve Pleads Guilty to Sex Charges

By Tim Gurrister

September 25, 2008

OGDEN - A man police say used his church position to gain access to children has pleaded guilty to charges of child molestation.

Timothy O'Sean McCleve, 53, entered guilty pleas Wednesday to two counts of second-degree felony child abuse involving three young girls, including one incident 15 years ago.

The latter victim, an Ogden woman now 21, came forward after seeing news reports of charges filed against McCleve involving pre-teen girls victimized in Harrisville.

"I don't know if he's remorseful," Deputy Weber County Attorney Bill Daines said of McCleve in remarks to reporters after Wednesday's hearing.

"People are always remorseful standing before the judge at sentencing. Whether they really are, I don't know."

McCleve and his attorney, Shawn Robinson, left the courtroom quickly, offering no response to reporters' questions.

2nd District Judge Ernie Jones set sentencing for Nov. 26. The maximum sentence on each charge is up to 15 years in prison. If Jones orders the sentences to be served consecutively, McCleve could face up to 30 years in prison.

McCleve has been free on $60,000 bond since his arrest in March 2007, although he has worn a court-ordered ankle monitor and still does as part of his police supervision under bail terms.

McCleve was trusted by the girls' families, police said, because of his church positions. That included serving as bishop of their Harrisville ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for five years until 2004.

The case against McCleve began with the filing of charges in March 2007 after three Harrisville girls, ages 6, 8 and 12, reported to parents and police that McCleve had touched them inappropriately.

The molestations, according to charging documents, happened on multiple occasions with two of the girls and took place when McCleve visited while their parents were not home. Court records say the three girls told investigators of up to 14 incidents since July 2006.

One of the three young girls has since been dropped as a listed victim. Prosecutors would not say why except that it wasn't part of the plea bargain.

At the time of his arrest, police also found e-mail evidence of an inappropriate, but non-sexual, relationship with a 14-year-old girl. Police said McCleve told the girl, "Don't tell anybody about us because they wouldn't understand our relationship." No charges were filed.

Before Wednesday's plea bargain, McCleve had been charged with three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, and one count of second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child.



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