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Mormon Church Leader Arrested in Sex Case

Associated Press, USA
June 26, 2004 • Saturday June 26, 2004

BUTTE, Mont. – A leader in the Mormon Church was arrested in an Internet sex sting after allegedly arranging to meet a 14-year-old girl in Idaho.

Clayton R. Hildreth, stake president of the Butte chapter of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was taken into custody Wednesday at a home in Boise.

Hildreth, 51, of Dillon, was charged in federal court with one felony count of using the Internet to knowingly attempt to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. He was released on $50,000 bond after a hearing Friday.

Over the past two months, police said, Hildreth corresponded with Boise detectives posing as a 14-year-old girl in an online chat room and sent explicit images of himself.

“We are disturbed by the allegations that our local church leader may have engaged in improper conduct,” the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement from Salt Lake City. “Individuals found to be so involved are released from ecclesiastical responsibilities.”

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