A 62-year-old former bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison on a child pornography conviction.
U.S. District Judge Howard Nielson Jr. imposed the sentence Wednesday in Salt Lake City against Timothy James Hallows.
Hallows pleaded guilty in July to a felony charge of possessing child pornography.
Hallows originally was charged in Davis County state court after his arrest on Oct. 16, 2019.
Davis County prosecutors accused him of possessing thousands of pornographic images, including at least eight explicit photos of pre-teen girls being sexually abused by men.
Local prosecutors dropped the charges after the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed its case May 8. Penalties often are stronger in federal courts.
According to a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday by federal prosecutors, Hallows likely will receive credit from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for jail time already served.
Hallows has been in custody for 13 months, which prosecutors said likely means he will be imprisoned in the federal system for 33 months.
In return for his guilty plea, federal prosecutors agreed to recommend that Hallows be sentenced on the low end of the sentencing range for the offense.
Nielson also sentenced Hallows to pay a $5,000 assessment under the Justice for Victims Trafficking Act.
In an arrest affidavit, a Davis County Sheriff’s Office agent who served on the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force said investigators suspected Hallows had committed additional crimes.
“Hallows made several concerning statements that led investigators to believe he has had sexual contact with children,” the detective wrote. “Hallows has conducted this behavior in other states, while he travels, which is done frequently.”
According to previous coverage, a church spokesman said the allegations against Hallows were “serious and deeply troubling.” He said Hallows was immediately removed from his leadership position when local church leaders learned of his arrest.
The investigation began after the video chat program Skype filed a complaint with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Aug. 6, 2019.
A Skype user had uploaded child pornography, the report said.
Phoenix police initially investigated the report because the uploading occurred at an Arizona hotel.
Arizona investigators traced the activity to a Yahoo account belonging to Hallows.
Utah agents then obtained a search warrant and served it at Hallows’ Kaysville home.
They said in the arrest affidavit that Hallows admitted possessing child pornography.
However, he refused to take a polygraph test to answer questions about whether he had sexual contact with children.
“He described camping trips with children, where he took pictures of children, expressing that this could lead to a failed polygraph,” the affidavit said.
“He did these camping trips while acting in his role as a bishop for the LDS church,” it said. “When Hallows was told investigators believe that he has had sexual contact with children, he stated, uh huh, and shook his head in affirmation.”
After completing his prison sentence, he will be on five years of supervised federal parole.