Clark Elwood Crookston

Clark Elwood Crookston

Detectives are concerned about the safety of numerous children after a young girl disclosed that an Orem man sexually abused her for months before he was charged with exposing himself to her and her sister.

Clark Elwood Crookston, 70, is a former dentist who has “unlimited” access to several children through his family relations, living in his neighborhood and attending his church congregation, police said last week in a probable cause report.

“The concern is high for any children that are around Clark,” police stated. “None of the parents are keeping them safe and away from Clark.”

Police say Crookston continues to claim his lewdness and sexual abuse is his way of teaching sex education.

Crookston allegedly began exposing himself to a girl and her sister more than five years ago, according to the charges. He also reportedly forced one of the girls to inappropriately touch him in 2014.

The girls’ mother confronted him about the allegations at the time and Crookston told her “it was a teaching moment and he didn’t want the girls to feel ashamed about it.”

“(The mother) told him to not speak with her children about these matters again,” charges state.

Two years later, police say Crookston showed one of the sisters an inappropriate picture. The parents confronted him again and Crookston reportedly agreed again not to talk about sex education with the children.

However, Crookston reportedly continued to expose himself several times to one of the girls and showed her naked pictures of himself and other men in 2019, the charges state.

He was charged in March with two counts of dealing harmful materials to minors, both third-degree felonies; and two counts of lewdness involving a child, both class A misdemeanors.

During initial interviews with detectives, one girl stated Crookston had not touched her or forced her to touch him.

But a few weeks ago, the girl admitted to her mother that Crookston had been sexually abusing her “almost daily” from April to August 2017.

Clark would request to put the children to bed and would lay in bed with the older sister. Then he would reportedly touch the girl inappropriately over and under clothing despite her objections.

“Clark would specifically tell the child to use the blanket to hide what was going on under the blanket from her parents,” police reported. “The child victim stated this occurred almost nightly during those nearly four months.”

Crookston was arrested on Dec. 18 but posted a $100,000 bond two days later, according to court documents.

Five days later, Crookston was charged in 4th District Court with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, all first-degree felonies.

His next court date for all charges is set for Jan. 8.

Detectives suspect and continue investigating whether the same type of abuse occurred with the other girl.

Two adults have also come forward to investigators and stated they were sexually abused by Crookston during the past 30 years, although no further information was available on the police report regarding the allegations.

Crookston graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and had a Utah dentistry license from 2006 to 2010.

Ashley Stilson covers crime, courts and breaking news for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2556 or astilson@heraldextra.com.

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