WEST BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC4) — A former West Bountiful mayor and church bishop has been sentenced on Thursday for child sex abuse dating back to the 80s.
Carl Matthew Johnson, 78, was given nine years to life in prison for three first-degree charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and another one-to-15-years in prison for second-degree charges of sexual abuse of a child. These sentences will be served consecutively, which means he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
Johnson is accused of sexually abusing multiple children over the course of several years. Authorities say the case dates as far back as the 80s, with some of the victims as young as two-years-old.
Judge David Williams said while he appreciates the community’s support for how he is handling the case, nothing he does will ever make up for the unlawful and harmful actions Johnson committed.
“What this circumstance indicates to the court, however, is that Mr. Johnson was able to move on, or attempt to move on with his life portraying himself as a pillar in the community while his victims suffered in the shadows,” Williams said.
Johnson, who served as mayor of West Bountiful from 1990 until 1997, was arrested in Orem on Sept. 7, 2022, on seven counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child.
According to the Davis County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were able to get in contact with three of Johnson’s victims, who said the abuse took place from 1985 to 1996 in Johnson’s home while they were between the age of five to 12.
DCSO officials say it is important to note that these three individuals were all victimized while Johnson “held a position of trust” over them. When interviewed by law enforcement, Johson admitted to sexually abusing the three children.