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Provo man arrested on sex abuse charges dating back to 1980s

By Harrison Epstein - | Sep 28, 2022
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The Utah County Sheriff's Office logo is shown behind Sheriff Mike Smith during a press conference at his office in Spanish Fork on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.
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David Lee Hamblin

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday arrested Provo resident David Lee Hamblin, 68, on six first-degree felony charges involving crimes against children.

Charges include three counts of first-degree felony sodomy of a child, one first-degree felony count of rape of a child, two first-degree felony charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and one misdemeanor count of lewdness involving a child.

While Hamblin’s alleged activities stretch across multiple counties, the arrest is not directly connected to the sheriff’s office seeking information connected to ritualistic sex abuse in central Utah.

“I wouldn’t say that’s directly connected to (the arrest),” Sgt. Spencer Cannon, UCSO public information officer, told the Daily Herald. “It is part of the overall investigation, but the victim in this case came forward to us before we did … our press release on May 31.”

Hamblin was arrested in December 2012 in Provo on similar charges — 12 counts of rape of a child — reportedly happening throughout the 1990s. The charges were later dismissed in March 2014 with the potential to be refiled.

The alleged incidents in Wednesday’s arrest occurred from the mid-1980s into the late 1990s, according to Cannon.

The probable cause statement had been filed with the Utah County 4th District Court in the morning. By Wednesday evening, Hamblin was ordered to be held without bail by Judge Kraig Powell.

According to the probable cause statement, the victim recounted several instances of assault from their childhood through teenage years. In the statement, officers called the alleged crimes “egregious” and said there are additional investigations in process regarding Hamblin.

“The court finds substantial evidence to support the charge, and finds by clear and convincing evidence that David Lee Hamblin would constitute a substantial danger to any other individual or to the community, or is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court if released on bail,” reads the court statement.

The case will be prosecuted by the Juab County attorney, Ryan Peters, after being deputized by the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

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