WEST JORDAN, Utah (News4Utah) – West Jordan police say detectives have arrested a former primary teacher for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Sean Sund, 45, is facing five counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, according to a tweet sent out by West Jordan police early Friday morning.
In the tweet, police said “Sund held a position of trust over the victim as he was a primary teacher in their LDS branch.”
Police said there could possibly be more victims and they want to get the word out to other parents who may have had children who were taught primary by Sund.
Tamera Bach, Sund’s neighbor, says she is horrified to learn the news.
“We shouldn’t trust anybody — aunts, uncles, grandpas. There is always sickos out there hurting kids. We need to be careful,” said Bach. “Our precious children. It’s an awful thing.”
She regrets not knowing these allegations sooner, and she wants people to believe the victim.
“I believe her,” said Bach. “My heart goes out to her and her family. It’s a horrible, horrible thing. I can’t believe that this has happened so close to my home and my family and that I knew of him.”
Another neighbor, Eric Clayton, says there were clearly red flags.
“If my kid asked me about anything like that, you know an older man in his 40s, it’s a definite no,” said Clayton.
Sean Sund’s lawyer, Clayton Simms, says his client served an LDS mission in Micronesia.
According to Simms, Sund says it’s culturally acceptable to have sleepovers, and Sund didn’t have bad intentions.
“We’re all worried about the child and sex abuse, but Sean’s position is that he’s being falsely accused,” said Simms.
Neighbors say whether or not that’s acceptable in one culture, there is no excuse.
“I don’t think that’s cultural at all,” said Eric Clayton. “That’s just somebody making excuses for whatever they’re doing behind closed doors. That’s the thing with kids. They tell the truth. They are easily manipulated. It’s really scary out there to hear people take advantage of situations like that.”
Simms says his client plans to plead not guilty for his arraignment scheduled for June 27.