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Mormon church official arrested in Internet sex case

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Source Missoulian.com

The state president of the Butte chapter of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was arrested in Idaho in what officers say was an attempt to solicit sex with a minor over the Internet.

Clayton R. Hildreth, 51, of Dillon, was arrested Wednesday after arriving at a Boise home where police say he planned to meet a 14-year-old-girl. He was carrying a gift of intimate apparel, according to a press release from the Boise Police Department. Hildreth was charged in federal court in Boise with one felony count of using the Internet to knowingly attempt to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. The charge carries a penalty of five to 30 years in prison with a fine of up to $250,000.

For the last two months, Hildreth allegedly corresponded with Boise police detectives over the Internet in an online chat room. The detectives posed as a 14-year-old girl. Over that time, Hildreth sent explicit videos of himself and claimed to have had sexual relations with other girls, police said. Hildreth told officers that he travels to Boise often and the police are fearful there may be more victims.

Boise officers said they are working with the Dillon police and Beaverhead County Sheriff’s office. Sheriff Bill Briggs did not return phone calls Friday, and Dillon Police Chief John Gutcheck was out of town.

Boise officers are asking anyone who may have had questionable contact with Hildreth to call (208) 373-5406.

On Friday, Hildreth was released on a $50,000 bond following a detention hearing. Conditions of the release include no travel outside of Montana, with the exception of Idaho court, allowing law enforcement to search his home and business, terminate his contract with his Internet provider and no unsupervised contact with minors.

Hildreth is married and has five children.

You can read about Crimes Against Children on the Internet at Watch Right Internet Crimes Against Children Weblog

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About the Author

Robert T DeMarco is CEO of IP Group in Herndon VA. IP Group offers software communication tools for use on the Internet. These include: PowerTools, Watch Right, Always on Time and IM Frame. Mr. DeMarco is the author/editor of several Weblogs and is also a member of the High Tech Crimes Industry Association (HTCIA). Mr. DeMarco spent 20 years on Wall Street during his second career.

Robert T DeMarco
IP Group Inc.
mailto: rtdemarco@aol.com

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  • Heather

    It is appolling that such an individual as Pres. Hildreth (unknown to me, I live in AZ) could abuse his leadership in the church. I suppose in every church, organization, and situation there are the good and the “bad apples” Hildreth obviously is more than just a “bad apple” and WILL be held accountable for his actions, especially when he answers to the Lord of his wrong doing. It saddens me that his choice could lead others astay from a wonderful life of being a member of the church of Jesuws Christ.And more so all the blessings that come with acting on faith and total reliance on the Lord. Heather

  • Nancy

    He won’t stand trial. The mormons cover their own, and don’t like seeing high officials embarrass the church like that; especially if there are other mormons (& more especially if they’re high-ranking) involved. He only paid $5K for bail; too easy to cross the border & disappear, & the church has plenty of $$$ to keep him elsewhere in comfort & cover it all up, as they have done with other crimes/scandals church members have been involved with.

  • http://aslalkjdsh.com John

    It would be nice if vauge comments which insinuate church involvement could be backed up. I suggest that in reality the church will agressively pursue excommunication.

  • Aron Green

    First, I’m very sorry for this poor girl and her family. Second of all I’d like to add how being a Salt Lake City resident living under what some non-mormans call the “Zion Curtain” never saw this story on Utah News stations. Hmmm I wonder if it has anything to do with the Morman’s power over the media in Utah. I wish this could be aired over all Utah news stations for people in Utah. I wish this Cult didn’t have so much power and the people could really see what is going on in Utah sometimes with their church. I think it will find it’s affairs are not that far off from other church’s seen recently in the media.High officials in sex scandal cases?? one comes to mind. Finally, If any morman reads this please don’t take this as a personal attack just one against your leaders who have deceived you from the real Jesus Christ. I pray you will find him. Thank you for taking the time to read my comment
    -Aron

    Sincerely,

    Aron Green

  • http://www.nationalvanguard.com/ Richard Brodie

    “I’m very sorry for this poor girl and her family”

    There wasn’t any girl – it was sting detectives posing as one. As much as one may disapprove of this man’s behavior, how can he be charged with “using the Internet to knowingly attempt to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity” when there was no such minor? I’m sure he will be excommunicated, and rightly so. His punishment will be the disgrace which he has brought to himself and his family. But I for one do not think that it is right for the government to prosecute someone for a crime when there was no victim.

  • Clavos

    Brodie,

    From your own comment:

    using the Internet to knowingly attempt to entice a minor (emphasis mine).

    Get off your high horse, he’s only being charged with attempting to entice a minor, so the charge is correct.

    Nancy,

    Actually, according to the article, he had to post $50K, not $5K bail.

  • http://www.nationalvanguard.com/ Richard Brodie

    using the Internet to knowingly attempt to entice a minor (emphasis Clavos’s)

    And which minor was he “knowingly attempting to entice.” (emphasis mine)

    When there is no real victim there is no real crime. If the law can be used to charge a person with a real crime against an imaginary victim, then the law needs to be changed.

    This reminds me of European “hate crime” laws, where there is no establishable connection between someone’s actions and any instance of actual harm.

  • http://www.nationalvanguard.com/ Richard Brodie

    Clavos says: Get off your high horse

    You have an opinion about the law, and I have a different opinion. Why am *I* on a “high horse” when I express my opinion, but you, presumably, are NOT on a high horse when you express yours?

  • Clavos

    When there is no real victim there is no real crime.

    So, if there’s no body, someone can’t be charged with murder and even convicted? Difficult, but with sufficient evidence short of the actual body, it’s happened–legally.

    For an attempted crime, there does not need to be an *actual* victim. In fact ther are several crimes which some people say are *victimless.*

    Sorry about the “high horse”–you’re right.

  • http://www.nationalvanguard.com/ Richard Brodie

    So, if there’s no body, someone can’t be charged with murder and even convicted? Difficult, but with sufficient evidence short of the actual body, it’s happened–legally.

    I don’t object to this, because there is evidence concerning a real victim. But even in that case the undiscovered victim has to have a real identity. In the case of this stake (not “state”) president, everyone knows that the “victim” was completely fictitious.

    The fact that this man was exposed will have the positive effect of discouraging him and other would-be internet predators. My reason for thinking that he should not be charged with any crime is because of my opposition to victimless crimes in general – personal drug usage, xenophobia/”hate” speech, “plotting” to overthrow the government (in the absence of the possession of any illegal armaments), etc.

  • Clavos

    Well, fortunately, Brodie, society doesn’t agree with you–attempting a crime is in itself, a crime.

  • http://www.nationalvanguard.com/ Richard Brodie

    society doesn’t agree with you

    I don’t know how many members of “society” agree with me and how many don’t. But I do know that there are plenty of other people who think that actions which have no victim, or at least no other “victim” than oneself, should not be regarded as crimes.

    As a point of clarification, the victim(s) can be members of society in general – as when an alien violates a nation’s sovereignty by crossing a border without permission. Such an act is in the category of theft, as it leads to the citizens of the violated nation being robbed of their security and their money.

  • Clavos

    I don’t know how many members of “society” agree with me and how many don’t.

    Enough don’t that that’s the law…

    Coming across the border without permission is a crime; a crime with every legal resident being the victim, not just the citizens. That’s why those who do so are called “illegal”. Duh.

  • http://www.nationalvanguard.com/ Richard Brodie

    Enough don’t that that’s the law…

    There are undoubtedly a great many laws passed that the majority of citizens don’t agree with. Thousands of new laws get passed every year, in may cases extremely long and complicated laws written by lobbyists, which congressmen couldn’t possibly be aware of every provision of.

    Legislators can’t just get kicked out if they go contrary to the majority will, because the citizenry will be overlappingly divided on many different issues.

    We do not have majority rule in this country, and never will have as long as the government remains captive to corporate and other elite special interests exercising their control through the pernicious Fourth Branch on K Street.

  • Clavos

    We do not have majority rule in this country

    Fine by me; it’s supposed to be a republic.

  • Aron J Green

    Mr. Brodie,

    Can you really say that just because he didn’t actually molest the “girl”, which if the sick old man had the chance to he would of. That he shouldn’t be held accountable? It’s amazing how Morman’s stick up for their own even when it comes to trying to protect a disturbed man like Clayton R. Hildreth (Sexual Offender). Also, I understand now that it was through a detective sting that the man was caught not some poor girl. Thank God for that. Brodie; it is also funny that you say he did not commit a crime but you still want him excommunicated anyway? What’s that going to do? He is still a Sexual offender. No amount of praying to a false prophet(Joseph Smith) is going to change that.

    Bottom line

    “President” Clayton R. Hildreth, or as he likes to call himself online as the “Sexy Montana Gentleman” is a Sexual Offender. This type of mis-conduct has been going on in the Morman church as in the Catholic church. The Morman’s have been able to over it up for a long time. But the time is coming where they too will be exposed as the Catholics were.

    Sincerely,

    Aron Green

  • http://www.ladydragonfyre.com/index_files/LWS Lady Dragonfyre

    Check out perverted-justice.com. You might’ve seen them on Dateline.

    The pedos their “decoy” teens chat with get their convos posted on the site, along with any information the pedo provides during the chat conversations, including email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, photos and webcam shots. In some cases, this information is forwarded to employers and others.

    As much as I agree that the skeezeballs deserve to be publicly humiliated, I’m surprised that this kind of thing is legal.

  • http://www.nationalvanguard.com/ Richard Brodie

    Mr. Green,

    My objection to charges being filed in this case has nothing to do with protecting one of “my own.” If there had been an actual crime, like the actual crimes of Catholic priests, then I would be all in favor of punishing this man.

    But in a just society you don’t prosecute people for crimes you think they might have committed. No one knows whether this man would have followed through even if there had been a real potential victim. He might very well have backed out before doing anything, suffering pangs of conscience. In a just society you only prosecute people who have committed actual crimes.

    Furthermore, in a just society you don’t keep on punishing people after they have served their sentence for a crime. That’s a form of double jeopardy. And that’s why I am opposed to “Megan’s Law.” Give the highest risk sex offenders life sentences without possibility of parole (or the death penalty) if you want to make sure they don’t repeat offend. But don’t keep hounding those with lesser sentences, once those sentences have been served, by requiring registration in public databases, etc.

    In fact, I’d go even further and say that once a person has “paid his debt to society” there should be NO RECORD kept by any court, state DOJ, the FBI, or any other government agency.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Richard, a key component of crime is intent. Absence of intent is why you don’t get the electric chair when you accidentally kill someone. You may even get off alltogether. Conversely, when intent is there, but no victim, there’s still something substantive to try you on.

    Dave

  • http://www.nationalvanguard.com/ Richard Brodie

    a key component of crime is intent. Absence of intent is why you don’t get the electric chair when you accidentally kill someone.

    Only for some crimes, like the one you mention (tresspassing might also fall in this category.) But people don’t “accidentally” steal, rape, molest, etc.

    Conversely, when intent is there, but no victim, there’s still something substantive to try you on

    I don’t dispute that that’s the way it is. I’m just expressing my opinion that it should not be that way – that in a truly just society people are not punished for what they might have done, only for what they actually did – and as a corollary, that government should not be in the business of entrapment.

  • Clavos

    In a just society you only prosecute people who have committed actual crimes.

    It is an actual crime to attempt to seduce a child.

    …in a truly just society people are not punished for what they might have done, only for what they actually did – and as a corollary, that government should not be in the business of entrapment.

    The fact that this man was exposed will have the positive effect of discouraging him and other would-be internet predators.

    Actually, crime statistics all over the country indicate that not even jail time is a deterrent for pedophiles.

    Pedophiles have one of the highest rates of recidivism among all criminals, and their crime is one of the most heinous practiced by humans. The laws already in place to catch and punish these people reflect those realities.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Jail time IS a deterrent in the sense that they can’t commit any crimes while they are in jail. Which is why we need to sentence pedophiles who repeat offend to enormous amounts of jail time.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    It’s even more of a deterrant if we just execute them. Period. Then we KNOW they won’t ever do it again.

  • JR

    Dave Nalle: Jail time IS a deterrent in the sense that they can’t commit any crimes while they are in jail.

    Unless they intend to escape.

  • Clavos

    Dave #22: You are, of course, correct. I meant to say that even the threat of jail time is not a deterrent.

  • Aron J Green

    Mr. Brodie,

    Once again we disagree. Let’s suppose I’m in favor of your opinion for a minute, and say there was no crime because he didn’t “actually” preform any sexual molestation upon a victim. What about when he had showed up to the house with three condom’s in his pocket, “Sexy underware” and had sent nude pictures of himself to the detectives, thinking it was a fourteen-year old child. That alone I beleive can easily constitute at least sexual harassment, which in many states is punishable by a hefty fine and probable jail time. Also as far as his “pang of conscience” coming to him at the last minute after driving hours from his home in Dillon, MT to Boise, Id; probably should of kicked in before he even got in the car to drive there. Or if he had any conscience at all he wouldn’t of even started with his online perversions in the first place. I don’t know that’s just me of course.
    PS I did not mean to insult you with your religous beleives in my previous post.

    Sincerely,

    Aron Green

  • Aron J Green

    Here are my souces for some of my information on my previous post. This month alone, a Mormon leader in Idaho has been jailed for soliciting sex on the internet from an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl. Clayton Hildreth, 52, used the screen name “Sexy Montana Gentleman” and turned up to what he thought was the girl’s house with three condoms, a gift of thong underwear and a digital camera.

  • http://www.nationalvanguard.com/ Richard Brodie

    What if the guy had been emailing these sting detectives, thinking he was communicating with an imaginary young girl, and in the course of talking about problems he was having with his wife he had said: “Sometimes I’d like to strangle her!” Would he now be getting charged with “intent” to commit murder?

    I’d like to see a total ban on the government snooping aorund, violating our privacy, and trying to secretly monitor our speech in an attempt to uncover some dirt that they can use to file charges against us.

  • Al

    How are all your comments going to change anything either to your favor or not?