WEST VALLEY CITY (ABC4 News) – A day after West Valley City Police Department arrested and charged David Allen Williams, his daughter is speaking out exclusively to ABC4 News.
Williams was arrested on 23 charges of second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child and two charges of first-degree felony object rape of a child.
Officials said the charges stem from incidents involving seven children who ranged in age at the time of the abuse from four to 12-years-old between 1983 through 1997.
Williams’ daughter, who requested her name and face remain private, said there’s mixed feelings for her family after his arrest Wednesday morning.
“I, for one, feel a lot of solace that he is in a place where he can get help and where he’ll be away from children,” she said. “But my mother is taking the news very hard.”
She said she knew the victims personally and said they came forward in the past to parents and LDS church leaders.
“Their accusations weren’t listened to. They were brushed under the rug and brushed aside because even the parents and the bishop thought, ‘Oh. He’s a harmless old man.’ But that wasn’t the case,” she said.
Investigators received a report in October 2018 regarding the sexual abuse of one of the victims and through their investigation, were able to identify and interview six more victims.
A press release stated some of the victims are relatives of Williams, while others were neighbors to the Williams family, who lived in a different home in West Valley City at the time of the abuse.
“I can see how people in the neighborhood would not suspect it because he was great at hiding it. He was very quiet and great at being just the benign man at church. So I can see how other people would have missed it. He was good at doing it behind closed doors,” said Williams’ daughter.
She told ABC4 News the reason why she’s speaking out is that she wants to change the climate surrounding sexual abuse survivors who come forward.
“If a child comes to you with any sort of accusation, whether they’re 6 or whether they’re 40…it’s something you need to sit down and listen to and realize all that the victims have something to lose in their own lives in dealing with the accusations. Take that very seriously,” she said.
Her family wanted to express appreciation for the West Valley City Police Department for the way they handled the investigation.
“I’m so proud of the victims who have come forward. I know it hasn’t been easy for them. It’s not comfortable for them. They have nothing to gain and everything to lose. The reason that they’re doing this is to protect other girls. Other than that, it serves no interest to them,” said Williams’ daughter.