Former LDS Bishop Pleads Guilty to Sex Abuse

By Gene Kennedy

September 24, 2008

[with video]


A former LDS Bishop in Harrisville has pleaded guilty to molesting children from his church ward. Originally Timothy McCleve pleaded not guilty to several sex abuse charges, but later he struck a deal with prosecutors.

It's a mystery why McCleve changed his mind, but we know victims were ready to testify in a trial.

In March 2007, McCleve molested three sisters from his ward. The little girls were abused in their home when their parents were gone. The girls came forward after seeing media reports of sexual abuse involving school teacher Frank Lane Hall.

After that a fourth victim came forward, a 21-year-old college student that used to be McCleve's neighbor. She says he abused her when she was 6.

So, is his guilty plea justice for his victims? Harrisville Police Chief Max Jackson said, "We're certainly glad it's come to a conclusion, at least thus far, especially for the victims and their families."

The victims' parents were in court today but did not want to make a statement. They may speak at McCleve's sentencing, which is scheduled at the end of November.

McCleve faces a maximum of 30 years behind bars for the crime.



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