Leaders of religious sect charged with rape

The co-leader of a Fromberg church that fled Utah and Idaho before landing in Montana and believes one of its leaders is the Holy Ghost and the father of Jesus Christ was arrested Wednesday morning on a rape warrant out of Utah.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Geody M. Harman, 37, before noon in Fromberg without incident, acting Montana U.S. Marshal Rod Ostermiller said. Harman was arrested on a $250,007 warrant out of the 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City. He is charged with felony first-degree rape.

The charging documents allege that Harman raped a then-15-year-old girl in Utah sometime between 2005 and 2006. The documents say that Harman, who is the First Counsel of the Holy Ghost of the Church of the Firstborn of the General Assembly of Heaven, “had an impression from God that (the girl) was to have sex” with him.

The girl told investigators that another church leader, Terrill Dalton, encouraged her to do so because Harman was God. She reported that she had sex with Harman once “because she believed she would be blessed.”
[…]

An arrest warrant for Dalton, 43, the church’s president, was issued out of the Salt Lake court charging him with two felony counts of first-degree rape. Ostermiller said officers went into Fromberg planning to arrest both men but only found Harman.

Dalton is accused of raping the same girl as Harman once after telling her “that if she had sex with him three times, (she) would be blessed,” according to the affidavit. He allegedly also said God wanted them to do so.
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– Source / Full Story: Co-leader of Fromberg church arrested on rape charges, Zach Benoit, Billings Gazette, Aug. 18, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Rape charges filed 5 years later against man claiming to be €˜Holy Ghost’

Harman and Dalton are the two top members of the Church of the Firstborn of the General Assembly of Heaven. Dalton is the founder and leader.

“He was saying he was The Holy Ghost in the flesh, and I didn’t believe that. I found that hard to believe,” said Cynthia Dalton, daughter of Terrill Dalton.

Cynthia Dalton is now 20. She came to KSL, giving up the privacy a rape victim is normally accorded, because she wants her father prosecuted. She claims he insisted she have sex with Harman when she was 15 years old.

“My dad comes up to me and goes, ‘You’ve got to do this, this is what the Lord wants. You do this, you sleep with Geody, you’ll get great blessings bestowed upon you,'” she said.

Cynthia Dalton says she resisted and then gave in to Harman. A few days later, her father followed suit.

“And he’s like, ‘The Lord says me and you need to have sex. We need to have sex three times and after the third time you’ll have great blessings bestowed upon your head,'” she said.

Salt Lake County investigators have now filed rape charges against both men.
[…]

Detectives investigated the alleged rapes several years ago, but back then Cynthia denied it happened.

“This has been several years later and she is an adult now. She felt more comfortable in disclosing and gave some very good disclosure in connection to the incident,” Hutson said.

“I would like to see my father go behind bars because I don’t want to see him ruin any other young woman’s life,” Cynthia Dalton said.

When KSL spoke with Terrell Dalton last year, he said his church had about 45 members. It seems to have fragmented a bit; some adult members did not follow him to Montana.
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– Source / Full Story: Rape charges filed 5 years later against man claiming to be €˜Holy Ghost’, John Hollenhorst, KSL TV, Aug. 18, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Church of Firstborn president and first counselor charged in girl’s rape

Terrill Dalton, the president of the Church of the Firstborn of the General Assembly of Heaven, was charged in 3rd District Court with two counts of first-degree felony rape, charging documents state. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
[…]

Geody Harman, first counselor of the Holy Ghost of the Church of the Firstborn of the General Assembly of Heaven, was also charged with one count of first-degree felony rape.
[…more…]

– Source / Full Story: Church of Firstborn president and first counselor charged in girl’s rape , Jason Bergreen, The Salt Lake Tribune, Aug. 19, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 7:49 AM, Central European Time (CET)