Utah Republican Nude Hot Tubbing With a Minor Pol Resigns
March 14, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Conservative family values politician Kevin Garn resigned from his position, as a Utah state Rep. and House Majority Leader on Saturday, after he admitted to nude hot tubbing with an underage teenage girl some 25-years-ago, when he was 29 or 30 and married, and the girl was just 15. Garn, also admitted to paying the girl hush money to stay quiet about the incident, when he unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2002. The minor girl, Cheryl Maher, now a 40-year-old woman, was traumatized by the long ago hot tubbing with a married man, who was once her Sunday School teacher, which she said happened twice and included touching and physical contact.
Garn said in his letter of resignation, “After discussing this matter with my family, I have decided that it is in the best interests of them, my colleagues and the people of Utah,” he wrote. The Mormon lawmaker took a more defiant tone, when he confessed to the nude hot tubbing and pay off in the state legislative chamber, before the story broke in the local paper. “I expect to suffer public humiliation and embarrassment, but I also want you to know that I cannot allow one foolish mistake to continue to shadow my life,” he said. Garn received wild applause and a standing ovation for admitting to sexually preying on an underage girl and paying her to stay quiet about it, when he was at least 14 years-older than the girl and a married man.
At the time, Cheryl Maher, worked for Garn in his businesses and she was also a babysitter for his children. Maher, began contacting media outlets last week with her charges against Garn. She said she needed to come to terms with the encounters and find peace. “I’m sure the resignation was really difficult for him, but it needed to happen,” Maher said. “This is a secret that devastated my life and my family’s life.”
Maher says that she was in a hot tub with Garn in 1984, soon after she turned 15 and a second time in 1985. She declined to be specific about the touching and physical contact that occurred. Garn claims he did not have sexual intercourse with Maher.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Maher wrote a letter to the Latter Day Saints Church in 2008 detailing the hot tubbing encounters and the impact they had on her life. The allegations were referred to Garn’s local ecclesiastical leaders. LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter, said “The Church will continue to follow this matter to determine if any further action is appropriate.” Garn was also Maher’s Sunday School teacher when she was in the fourth grade.
And the Tribune’s report also reveals that Garn’s wife Tanya accompanied him to make the pay off to Maher:
“In 2002, when Maher was talking to reporters, Garn and his wife Tanya met with Maher and her husband in her bishop’s office in New Hampshire, and subsequently paid her $150,000 for her consent to conceal the incident.”
Maher has been excommunicated from the LDS Church.
Garn’s resignation from office, marks the second time just this year, a Utah Republican lawmaker was forced to quit in disgrace. Senate Majority Leader Sheldon Killpack resigned from the Legislature in January, the day after he was arrested for drunk driving.