PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – A Provo man was arrested Wednesday morning in connection to ritualistic child sexual abuse that allegedly took place in Utah over the course of 20 years dating back to 1990.

David Lee Hamblin, 68, is reportedly a former therapist who commonly worked with children.

Officers with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) arrested Hamblin Wednesday in connection with multiple incidents of child sexual abuse, following a new investigation that the UCSO announced in late May 2022.

Back in 2012, Hamblin was faced with 18 Felony charges relating to child sexual abuse, but those charges were dismissed. Hamblin then tried to get his record expunged in court during August 2022.

The victims in the alleged abuse in that case ranged from 5 to 13-years-old during the time of abuse.

This year, the UCSO says that they’ve been investigating reports of “ritualistic child sexual abuse” and trafficking that allegedly occurred in Utah County, Juab County and Sanpete County between 1990 and 2010.

In April 2021, an investigation began into ritualistic child sexual abuse and child sex trafficking that happened in Utah County, deputies say. A portion of those allegations was confirmed.

“It’s hard to believe that somebody would do this to another human being,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the UCSO tells ABC4. “It’s very, very disturbing.”

The allegations are now being investigated by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with other local and federal agencies.

The term “ritualistic” means that more than one person is involved, the abuse is considered organized, and there may be a religious element to the abuse.

“It’s typically by a group of people, you know, two or more people that are involved in it, and not just, you know, somebody’s uncle or brother, or sister or whatever, that’s involved in individual cases, or incidents of abuse, but more of an organized effort,” Sgt. Cannon said.

Officials say they are “pleading” with the public and encouraging victims, or people with knowledge of these crimes, to contact the UCSO Special Victim’s Unit so they can be offered assistance.

“We have gotten to the point where we believe we have been able to verify some of the information that we’ve been told, and has led us to believe that it’s likely that there are others out there who have been victimized and may have been intimidated or threatened into silence and we want to help them,” Sgt. Cannon said.

“Where those calls will lead. We don’t know yet. But we’ll follow the information that is given to us and take it where wherever it leads,” Sgt. Cannon said.

Anyone with information can contact the UCSO at (801) 851-4010.

Hamblin was booked into jail on the following charges:

  • Sodomy of a Child (1st Degree Felony), Three Counts
  • Rape of a Child (1st Degree Felony), One Count
  • Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child (1st Degree Felony), Two Counts
  • Lewdness Involving a Child (Class A Misdemeanor), One Count

This case is still being actively investigated. ABC4 will provide updates as more information becomes available.