UTAH COUNTY (ABC4) – Utah County Attorney David Leavitt said the county sheriff is opening a decades-old case that has no merit, claiming it’s a political move just weeks before the primary election.
Leavitt held a press conference on Wednesday after the Utah County Sheriff’s Office sent out a press release stating the department is investigating ritualistic child sex abuse and trafficking they believe occurred between 1990 and 2010. While the sheriff did not name any suspects, Leavitt said he came across a report where he and his wife are listed.
“Having read the 151 pages of utter baloney, my heart goes out to the 15 to 20 innocent citizens whose names are implicated. Whose reputations are besmirched. I am sorry that someone’s effort at eliminating me as an elected prosecutor, has hurt you,” said Leavitt.
Leavitt did not provide the document mentioned during the press conference but said it connects him and his wife to allegations of murder and cannibalism.
“I don’t know what they’re investigating, but if it has anything to do with this therapist and the report 25 years ago, that is 100 percent false,” said Leavitt.
Leavitt said the therapist was accused of sexual assault.
“He was my neighbor. I had a family connection,” said Leavitt.
According to Leavitt, the case was dismissed.
“That allegation by that tragically mentally ill woman was so outlandish and so ludicrous that our own find special victims task force that investigates these kinds of crimes, refused to even interview any of the 15 or 20 people who are the who are alleged to have committed these crimes,” said Leavitt.
Sheriff Mike Smith responded by holding his own press conference saying he never named Leavitt or any suspect and Leavitt’s statements may have tainted the investigation.
“I take exception to any victim who comes forward and is characterized as tragically mentally ill. How dare you?” said Smith.
Smith added more than one victim has come forward. The sheriff said the first victim spoke to them back in April of 2021 and was not the person Leavitt referred to as mentally ill.
“I challenge Sheriff Smith not only to open his office for an investigation, not only to suspend Sergeant Spencer Cannon pending that investigation, but to resign himself if it can be demonstrated that his office is being used for such illicit political purposes,” said Leavitt.
Sheriff Smith said he has no intent of resigning or punishing his public information officer over allegations of leaking information. Smith stated since the press release was sent out, at least 20 more people have come forward with information on this investigation.
Smith said several law enforcement agencies are involved at this time including the Provo Police Department, Juab County Sheriff’s Office, Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office, Nephi City Police Department and the FBI.