LDS Teacher, Sheriff's Employee Accused of Abusing Girl

ABC4/December 23, 2004

A primary teacher for his Mormon ward in Syracuse has been charged with five counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four girls, ages 5 and 6.

Aaron Marcos Montoya allegedly fondled and touched the four girls at his home or at the church. He has been placed on paid administrative leave from his job as a corrections security officer with the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office.

He was arrested late Tuesday by Syracuse police at his home, after returning from Georgia, where his wife and three children are staying until after the holidays.

If convicted, he faces up to five years to life on each felony count.

Bail was set Wednesday at $100,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for January 5.

Syracuse police detective Mark Sessions said his office was contacted last week by the parents of one of the girls. They told police their daughter had been fondled while in a Primary class on December 12 at an LDS church house. Primary is an organization for children ages three to eleven. Children meet each Sunday.

Montoya and his wife taught the Primary class, which had six girls in it, Sessions said. Montoya's wife was not present when the alleged fondling occurred.

"Allegations that a volunteer Primary teacher may have engaged in improper conduct involving children in his class are of the utmost concern," said Dale Bills, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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