WEST JORDAN, Utah (News4Utah) – In a dramatic courtroom hearing, a judge doubled the bail amount for a 45-year-old man accused of sexually abusing a female student in his Sunday School class.
Sean Sund was taken away in handcuffs after a judge in West Jordan set bail at $500,000. State prosecutors argue Sund is a danger to the community, and say they believe there are more victims than the one girl who has come forward. Sund was a children’s Sunday School teacher in the West Jordan branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He taught Primary, and police say he frequently had several children at his home for “sleepovers.”
Defense attorney Clayton Simms says the LDS branch is made up of Micronesian members. Sund served an LDS mission in the Marshall Islands, and Simms says the community is very tight-knit.
“There’s nothing wrong with a sleepover,” Simms told News4Utah outside of the the courtroom. “As long as nothing sexual happens.” Simms maintains nothing sexual happened at the sleepovers.
Still, children frequently bathed nude in front of Sund, prosecutors say. There were back rubs. A police report obtained by News4Utah details several incidents in which a little girl claims “she was scared Sund would ‘do it all night to her.’ She said she was scared to tell someone because she thought she would be grounded.”
The judge told Sund if he makes bail, he should not have contact with the alleged victims or anyone in the Micronesian LDS branch he attends. He was also asked to not attend the church. His passport was also put on hold.
Police claim Sund confessed to several instances of abuse similar to the ones described by the victim. Still, in his initial appearance Wednesday, Sund pled not guilty.
After he was taken away in handcuffs, several of his supporters from his Micronesian LDS Branch came outside and told the media “he is a good person. He didn’t do this.”
His mother, visibly upset, fainted outside of court. She was supported by her son’s church friends.