FARMINGTON — A former Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bishop has officially been charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Timothy James Hallows, 61, of Kaysville was arrested last week on suspicion of possessing child pornography following an investigation into his online activities, spurred by a complaint to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

All eight counts are second-degree felonies. He is being held without bail in the Davis County Jail.

His initial hearing is set for Wednesday, Oct. 23, in Farmington’s 2nd District Court.

Police began investigating Hallows in August after a complaint about a user uploading “child sexual exploitation material” was made. The IP address associated with the user was registered to the same address as Hallows’ home in Kaysville, according to a probable cause affidavit. Three other complaints were made against the same user.

On Oct. 15, investigators served a search warrant to Hallows’ home in Kaysville, where he allegedly admitted to distributing the child porn online.

“Hallows admitted to owning an unknown amount of images of child sexual abuse, but estimated the numbers over 100,” the affidavit says. An on scene forensic investigation later found “thousands of images of pornography, including many images of child sexual abuse.”

Police requested that Hallows be held without bail because of his role as a bishop in Kaysville, citing how he has “unfettered access to children in his congregation and in private,” the affidavit says.

Investigators believe that he has had sexual contact with children, and he has possibly engaged with children in other states and other countries. They added that Hallows has a “high net worth.”

In a written statement last week, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said the allegations against Hallows are “serious and deeply troubling.” Hawkins said Hallows was immediately removed from his leadership position when local church leaders learned of his arrest.

Reach city editor Jessica Kokesh at 801-625-4229 or jkokesh@standard.net. You can also follow her on Twitter at @JessicaKokesh.

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