A 59-year-old man from Wallsburg was booked into the Utah County Jail Monday after he reportedly sexually abused a child and threatened the boy’s family.

Arthur Jeperson was arrested on suspicion of the first-degree felony of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, the third-degree felony of tampering with a witness and the class B misdemeanor of criminal mischief.

A boy told police in June that he was on a trip with Jepperson previously when Jepperson sexually abused him, according to a police report. Jepperson reportedly told the boy that if he cried he wouldn’t take him on other trips, that it was something adults do and threatened the boy’s family.

The boy’s behavior changed after the trip, according to the report, and he became withdrawn and experienced health problems. According to the report, Jepperson had bought the boy a puppy unsolicited.

Jepperson reportedly told police he had never been alone with the boy and gave the names of two witnesses, who told police they could not confirm that Jepperson was never alone with the boy. The boy’s father told police that Jepperson had been alone with the boy on other occasions.

It took detectives more than two weeks to find Jepperson, according to a press release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. His bail has been set at $30,000 cash or bond.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who may have been assaulted by Jepperson to contact them at (801) 794-3970.

Braley Dodson covers health and education for the Daily Herald.

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