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?
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.
“the harassment that Polanski is receiving from conservatives with no compassion.”
Say ah WHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAATTTT ??????????????
Garn was her sunday school teacher when she was 9 years old. In Utah/Mormon society, being members in the same ward mean the guy was her neighbor, a trusted member of the community that she would see practically every day. When she was 15 (probably earlier), he "hired" her to work at his company. (What kind of work is a 15 year old qualified to do?).
As her employer (and active member of her church), he drove her 40 miles to Salt Lake, bought some booze, and took her to a "hot-tub-by-the-hour" joint. (And how did a good ol' church boy from Syracuse know where to find the gay's hot tub establishment?)
Later, Garn used his wife, son, and church authorities to attempt to coerce this woman.
The dude's a pedophile and pervert. He'd targeted her for sex for years.
actually yesterday on a similar thread people were making excuses.
“It was a different time”. 1985? Was not THAT long ago...
He was her employer and ex-LDS Sunday School teacher. He knew her family. He knew her age. Her knew the level of "trustworthiness" she would place in him. (And betrayed it)
His post-facto "accomplices" include the Deseret News, which has sat on this story for 8 years and Lds, Inc., which not only owns the News, but pays the stipends the bishops rec'd; they insured the victim was eventually ex-communicated but that the perp's reputation remained in order; and then when the head Lds "prophet" was alerted via a 7-page letter from the victim of 2008, did anything change? See: LDS Church says local leaders handled claims against Garn
LDS congregation bishops receine no “stipends.” Zero; nada.
You are right; I should have used the past tense "paid" instead of present-tense "pays." At the time that bishops began to handle the supposed Garn repentance issue (Cheryl Maher says it was 1993), my understanding is that Lds bishops were still being paid a 10% "stipend" from tithing funds. ["Changes in stipends for bishops and general authorities. (Bishops once received a 10% stipend from tithing funds, but are now purely volunteer.)" Source: History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints]
Maher pinpointing 1993 time frame with Garn & his Lds bishop: "In 1993, Kevin Garn went into repent for what he'd done ... I wasn't notified, I wasn't checked on, like, 'Are you OK?' that kind of thing. There's no communication. 'This man has admitted what he's done, we want to help you, are you OK with what happened in your past?' [My experience] was 'Good luck to you, thank you, we'll check into it.' That makes me angry." Woman: Garn lying about 'no contact' in hot tub when she was 15
Regarding this creep Garn, it would appear that statute of limitations laws would leave him legally untouchable in just about every state in the Country, even if his actions went beyond what he now admits to.
Here's what I said in an Oct. 23, 2008 FR thread -- and I stick to it: LDS Bishops are indeed lay folks who receive no salary. But as of 15 years ago, I knew of a bishop who received $40,000 (in 1993 $) as a "stipend" for expenses. Now don't get me wrong, bishops indeed incur expenses for which they need to be reimbursed. But I would betcha, were you to have surveyed Protestant pastors and Roman Catholic priests in 1993, if they were incurring personally reimbursed expenses at a rate of $40,000 per year, and you would find the bulk of them were not. Steep stipends = a partial salary.
And, as I just cited the previous source, $40,000 would not be unreasonable if that was 10% of the local tithing funds. Now, yes, that practice has been changed; but it was more recent than you are giving it credit.
Re: the victim...possibly, but none of us have a handle of what their relationship was -- and you've already reduced it to just one hot tub encounter...and several of the articles say it was more than that:
First of all, KSL.com (owned by the Mormon church) already says their hot-tubbing occurred more than once: Maher said Saturday she and Garn were in a hot tub together twice -- once in late 1984 after she had just turned 15 and again a few months later in 1985. She declined to say if the pair were nude both times or to provide any other specifics of the hot tubbing episodes. "I'm sure the resignation was really difficult for him, but it needed to happen," Maher said. "This is a secret that devastated my life and my family's life." Source: House majority leader Kevin Garn resigns
Now why would somebody conclude that even a couple of hot tub encounters "devastated my life and my family's life"??? Hold that question for a moment...and then look at another Cheryl Maher comment:
"Let's just say this. He really loves to massage," Maher told City Weekly when asked for details of the contact in the hot tub. Maher, though, talks less about how that particular encounter traumatized her and more about the emotional relationship she had with Garn. "I was in love with him," she said. Source: Woman: Garn lying about 'no contact' in hot tub when she was 15
She was love in him, she says. She looked up to him as her Lds Sunday School teacher; as the guy who trusted her as an employee at age 14 or 13. And, as she implies, the guy who took her to lunch; took her shopping:
"In the church, people feel they can trust everybody," said Maher, who was excommunicated a few years ago for an extra-marital affair. "You're supposed to be safe with the priesthood holder, or whoever you're with. And I think my Mom and Dad felt that way. 'He's taking her out to lunch. Oh, he's taken her shopping. She's taken care of.' They had no idea. That was the trust in the church and I think that needs to be looked at." Source: Woman: Garn lying about 'no contact' in hot tub when she was 15
So, to get back to that "why" question: if he did all these things; and if the relationship turned sexual, then here's a trusted spiritual leader who is in effect "training" a 15 yo to engage in behavior (sex outside of marriage) which if she replicates while married could devastate her...
...family life (the Lds church ex-communicated her for having an affair) Source: CityWeekly article cited above
...which could further lead to ex-communication [and did]
And we know the Lds leadership pattern. The general authorities are business leaders who serve on each others' business boards. Same with the rest of the Lds hierarchy. Do you think they like to take action vs. a "...wealthy business owner, who has interests in everything from banks to hotels..."???? See quote source at: Garn's bombshell blows away lawmakers
Perhaps a bit of sarcasm intended. The sad thing about today’s liberals is that it’s difficult to parody their positions because they go to extremes so much better than a sane person would imagine.
When I was a youngster of 24 I lived in Las Vegas one summer driving a truck for a construction company. I went to the North Las Vegas ward where the Bishop was evidently encouraging folks to give cash for their tithing. Of course most of the fast offerings were also in cash.
They caught him and sent him kicking horse turds down the road. And he was oh, so sanctimonious.
Point is, I believe they all take a little something when they can get away with it.
I must say when I was the Branch President in Hjorring Denmark nobody paid any tithing to speak of. Maybe a couple hundred Kroner. Can’t get rich that way brother.
HOT TUB TIME MACHINE ping!