WEST BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC4) – A former mayor of West Bountiful and bishop for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing at least six children over the course of several years.

Carl Johnson, 77, is facing five counts of First Degree Felony Aggravated Sex Abuse of a Child and two counts of Second Degree Felony Aggravated Sex Abuse of a Child.

The Davis County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) says that Johnson was arrested on in Orem on Sept. 7 in regards to an investigation that has been ongoing for years.

Police say they were able to get in contact with three of Johnson’s victims–whose abuse took place from 1985 to 1996 in Johnson’s home is Davis County while the victim’s were in the age range of five to 12–and conduct interviews with all of them. It is important to note that DCSO says that these three individuals were all victimized while Johnson “held a position of trust” over them, and were “told not to tell anyone else about what happened to them.”

DCSO says that while interviewing Johnson regarding these incidents as well as other possible crimes he has committed, he admitted to touching Victims 1 and 2 inappropriately as touching Victim 3 inappropriately over her clothing.

Police records add that Johnson also admitted to inappropriately touching other victims, estimating that “there was more than six victims as young as two-years-old.” DCSO notes that Johnson “used his position of trust to influence any disclosures” that were made, and “admitted that he has a problem controlling his sexual urges and has struggled with this problem for most of his life.”

While DCSO says that other cases of abuse regarding Johnson are currently being investigated and have not yet come to a conclusion, he has since been booked into the Davis County Jail on the charges previously listed.

A statement from DCSO Captain Taylor West regarding this case reads as follows:

“Today, we are thinking about the victims who bravely came forward and shared their stories. Without their willingness to recount the abuse they suffered, others may have continued to be victimized by Johnson.”

Sam Penrod, Church spokesperson stated the following regarding Johnson’s arrest: 

“The allegations against this individual are serious and deeply troubling. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no tolerance for abuse of any kind. Those who engage in abusive behavior are rightfully subject to prosecution by legal authorities and also face loss of Church membership.”

If you have any further information on Carl Johnson or his potential victims, you’re advised to contact the DCSO non-emergency dispatch at (801) 451-4150.