Skip to comments.McEntee: Garn's hot tub interlude much more than a 'mistake'
Posted on 03/14/2010 9:13:38 AM PDT by Colofornian
For Kevin Garn, it's been 25 years of hiding, of paying big money for "secrecy," of presenting himself as a devoted public servant, twice rising to the status of House Majority Leader in the Utah Legislature.
In the same 25 years, Cheryl Maher has been plagued by substance abuse and mental illness, even as she served in leadership roles in the LDS Church -- as did Garn, a former bishop.
This week, it all came out: In 1985, Garn, then 30 and married, and Maher, a 15-year-old who worked for him, took off their clothes and climbed into a hot tub. Garn insists there was no physical contact but admits what he did was wrong. Maher says there was touching, but won't elaborate.
But under the circumstances, what Garn did amounts to exploitation of an underage girl.
It's easy to understand why he kept quiet about it all these years, even paying Maher $150,000 in 2003 to buy her silence. Garn says he considered it extortion, but arranged for her to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
Last week, he told his legislative colleagues that he'd been afraid, that he should have told the truth long ago but didn't want to be judged for "one of my life's worst decisions."
I can't know all the reasons why Maher, until last week, kept her part of the bargain. That big check had something to do with it.
But I do know that all too often in such circumstances, young people can bear their own burden of guilt and shame. Often, there's no one to talk to about what they've seen or experienced, and sometimes they aren't believed if they do talk.
So, brick by brick, they can build their own prisons. Maher says her life unraveled in the years after the hot tub episode. She later married, but says she had a problem with pills and "was a mess."
Today, she says, she's going through a divorce and a custody battle and went public for her own peace of mind.
She has seen Garn a couple of times in the last few years, apparently amicably. But two years ago, she told Garn's son in an e-mail that "nothing will stop me" from getting "justice and compensation."
Garn resigned from the Legislature Saturday. Only Maher knows what her next step will be.
Garn can say he expects public humiliation, but can't allow a "foolish mistake to continue to shadow my life."
Well, let's get it straight. Getting naked in a hot tub with a 15-year-old goes far beyond a "mistake."
Kevin Garn, like so many caught in such circumstances, should take a long look in the psychic mirror. He may find a greater truth, and a far more difficult one, in his reflection.
A crime may have been committed here. And this goes beyond a couple of "creepy" mistakes. (The victim says she was in a hot tub with Garn on two occasions, the first shortly after she just turned 15...just six years after he taught her Lds Sunday School when she was a fourth grader...he was also her employer...which meant he abused the trust and authority he had and had built up).
Not sayin’ it was right, but coincidence does not prove causation. Unless “we” are trained mental health experts with access to the files, it’s probably time to let this go. Garn may be a creep but he resigned. If there is evidence of crime, let the Utah authorities go after him tooth and nail.
If not, can we drop it now?
Well, let's get it straight. Getting naked in a hot tub with a 15-year-old goes far beyond a "mistake."Unless you're a Hollywood director. Then you can forcibly sodomize said 15-year-old girl and be considered a "genius".
What has gone wrong in our society that creeps like this think they have the right to do things like this, and without repercussions?
Bear in mind, though, that if he had been fLDS, it would have been “acceptable” and people on many blogs (and even here) would be saying that preventing him from molesting a child was interfering with his first amendment religious rights.
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Seems to me like there’s evidence of a crime (his confession, her admission). The girl was barely 15. He was her Sunday school teacher and boss. Anywhere but Utah (and Hollywood), that would be a crime. Resignation is not enough. Jail the jerk.
It appears to me that Garn paid $150,000 to avoid being listed on the registered sex offender list for life!
In retrospect, that must have seemed like quite a bargain.
He is a pathetic loser and she is no better.
Blaming her pill abuse and that on getting into a hottub? PLEASE! Its not like she was forced into that hottub.
She wants money and attention.
Well, let’s get it straight. Getting naked in a hot tub with a 15-year-old goes far beyond a “mistake.”
Unless you’re a Hollywood director. Then you can forcibly sodomize said 15-year-old girl and be considered a “genius”.
I almost sprayed coffee on my monitor! Funny (but sad) observation!
Wasnt this the guy the Utah legislation all applauded when this came out ???
Dont any of them have a sense of dencency and shame ???
To be fair, Polanski's interlude was with a 13 y/o. That's different, whether because she's two years younger, because he drugged her first, because he's been convicted of the rape, or because he's a liberal. In any case, we're as shocked at the conservative LDS pervert's actions as we are at the harassment that Polanski is receiving from conservatives with no compassion.
Mormon Hot Tub Party Ping
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Garn says he considered it extortion, but arranged for her to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
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If it was extortion, then he should have gone to the police not paid her and make her sign a “nondisclosure agreement”.
, she’s going through a divorce and a custody battle and went public for her own peace of mind.
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More likely she went public to avoid it being used against her in the divorce and custody fight.
Did she get the money or did her parents? Was there a lawyer who drew up the confidentiality agreement?
And if her parents knew why didn’t they contact they authorities right after it happened?