On Wednesday, Utah County Attorney David Leavitt called for an investigation into the investigation of a child sex abuse ring that operated in Utah, Juab, and Sanpete counties between 1990 and 2010. The investigation is being carried out by Utah County’s Sheriff’s department headed by Sheriff Mike Smith.
At the press conference, Leavitt said that he and his wife were the subjects of the child sex abuse investigation previously announced by the Sheriff’s office. He said that the claims were untrue and intended to harm his reputation. He called for the sheriff’s resignation in response.
The sheriff quickly held his own press conference after Leavitt’s. Watch Fox 13’s reporting of it next.
“I learned that my wife and I were part of those allegations, allegedly that we were guilty of cannibalizing young children, and murdering young children,” Leavitt said.
Leavitt then labeled the victim “tragically mentally ill” and made abundantly clear that neither him nor his wife participated in ritual child sex abuse. Sheriff Smith took offense at the claim the victim was mentally ill in his response shortly after.
“To have [my wife’s] reputation, her professional character and everything about her life’s work called into question brought into question by a few cheap political opportunists offends me to the depth of my being. It does nothing but to demean the integrity of me, my wife, and 15 other members of this community who had absolutely nothing to do with a discredited case from 15 years ago,” Leavitt said.
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Leavitt said that the case had been debunked and said that Utah County Sheriff’s announcement of the investigation was “politically motivated.”
In response, Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith held his own press conference to debunk Leavitt’s claims.
“Several times, Mr. Leavitt named himself and mentioned cannibalism and murder. This investigation is about child sex abuse,” Smith responded to Leavitt. “I take exception to any victim coming forward and being categorized as ‘tragically mentally ill’. How dare you. These are victims of crimes who have mustered the courage to come forward and this is what you call them? Mentally ill. How dare you.”
Smith also mentioned that nobody from his office had confirmed Leavitt’s connection to the investigation. He also confirmed that the FBI is involved in the investigation.
“I will not be resigning,” Smith concluded. “We won’t be intimidated by Mr. Leavitt.”
On May 31, 2022, The Sheriff’s office announced that they were investigating ritualistic child sexual abuse. The sheriff also said they have been contacted by “15-20 people” since making their investigation public.
“In April of 2021, an investigation began into ritualistic child sexual abuse and child sex trafficking that occurred in Utah County. The ensuing investigation discovered that other victims had previously reported similar forms of ritualistic sexual abuse and trafficking that occurred in Utah County, Juab County, and Sanpete County during the time between 1990 and 2010. Portions of these allegations were confirmed. These allegations are being investigated by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with other local and federal agencies,” read the Sheriff’s statement.
Both the sheriff and the attorney are both up for reelection.
Do you think that the sheriff’s office or the attorney is correct about the ritualistic child sex abuse?