A former LDS bishop charged with sexually abusing two underage males in his ward pleaded guilty to his crimes Wednesday in Fourth District Court.
The defendant, Erik Hughes of Mapleton, entered guilty pleas to two second-degree felonies of forcible sexual abuse and one third-degree felony of tampering with a witness. Hughes, 51, pleaded to what he was originally charged with. No charges were reduced as a part of his plea arrangement.
Hughes’ attorney, John Allan, told Judge Thomas Low that as a part of the agreement, no other charges in relation to the allegations of abuse can be leveled against Hughes.
Allan said the alleged victims approve of the agreement.
Police reports state a now 18-year-old man told police in April that Hughes had drugged him and sexually assaulted him several times about three years ago.
Another man later came forward and reportedly told police Hughes had sexually abused him between 30 and 50 times.
Hughes also drugged the second man and sexually abused him in a hotel room in Nevada, police reports state.
As a part of the plea deal, the alleged victim has agreed to not have charges leveled against Hughes for the acts committed in Nevada.
A third alleged victim was questioned, though the individual did not cooperate with the proceedings and charges were not made in relation to this individual’s allegations.
Police reports state Hughes was the bishop of a ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time of the reported abuse. He is not currently a bishop.
Hughes will be sentenced on Oct. 10. The maximum sentence he faces is one to 15 years in the Utah State Prison for each second-degree felony.