A Second Provo MTC-Associated Abuser and Cover-Up: Mormon Bishop and MTC Dr. Richard Sampson

John Dehlin News 17 Comments

Mug shot of Dr. and Bishop Richard Sampson.

Mormon Stories Podcast has just received a tip about another Mormon sex abuser (in addition to Joseph Bishop) who is also a former Mormon bishop, and who is also associated with the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center.   His name is Dr. Richard B. Sampson.

According to the tip we have received:

  • Richard Sampson is reported to have served as bishop in the Provo Peak 7th Ward from 2005-2010 (if anyone has info on Bishop Sampson’s service as Mormon Bishop, or any known instances of abuse, please email mormonstories@gmail.com).
  • The convictions against Mormon MTC Dr. and Bishop RIchard Sampson include:
    • Offense/Statute: 76-5-404.1 – Sexual Abuse Of A Child-attempted/3rd Degree (attempted) Date Convicted: 16 May 2014
    • Offense/Statute:76-5-404.1 – Sexual Abuse Of A Child/2nd Degree FelonyDate Convicted: 16 May 2014
    • Offense/Statute:76-9-702.5 – Lewdness Involving A Child/class A MisdemeanorDate Convicted: 16 May 2014
  • We are not sure at this point how many years Richard Sampson served as a doctor in the MTC, but a photo of him serving as MTC doctor can be found below.
  • We are also not sure if Dr. Sampson received any church discipline for his abuses.  If anyone has any information in this regard, please email us at: mormonstories@gmail.com.
  • We have been told that this story was intentionally kept out of the local news media, and that attempts to bring attention to this story have been silenced.
  • Can someone please check LDS Tools to see if he remains a member?

Additional tips (will update as new tips are received):

  • 3/26/18 – 7:22am: Was just contacted by an individual who claims that Bishop/Dr. Sampson took his temple recommend away for masturbation.

Please email any information you have on Dr. and Bishop Richard Sampson to mormonstories@gmail.com.

In addition, please send us any other unrelated stories you have regarding the cover-up of sexual abuse within the Mormon church.

We appreciate your support on this important effort to hold the LDS church accountable for the protection and cover-up of sexual abusers, at the expense of victims.

Dr. John Dehlin
Mormon Stories Podcast

Photo of Dr. and Bishop Richard Sampson from the Deseret News:

Comments 17

  1. There is very little public information on Richard Sampson, but he is incarcerated in the Draper State Prison. I don’t live in Utah, but someone who does could interview him and try to find out if he had any church discipline for his crimes.

  2. There are so many things about this article that don’t seem to serve a purpose. I’m genuinely confused as to what (if anything) is of REAL value from this information.

    It seems like this sentence from the article might be implying what you mean as the most important point: “In addition, please send us any other unrelated stories you have regarding the cover-up of sexual abuse within the Mormon church.”

    Okay, so that is pretty straightforward. You’re implying that the LDS Church is responsible for “covering-up” this sexual abuse. Obviously that isn’t directly stated anywhere here or anywhere else in the article — but if that’s not the take-away, then I genuinely have no idea what it is supposed to be.

    So, assuming I’m correct – let’s go with that accusation for a minute: The LDS Church is responsible for a cover-up of sexual abuse. Yikes. That DOES sound pretty awful. But wait — how does that even work? It is -obviously – a CHURCH. It isn’t a state institution of any kind, and it isn’t part of any legal justice system.

    So then how is a church “covering” this up? Are they covering it up by not announcing it from the pulpit in church? Does it mean that this guy was still allowed to go to church after he was convicted?! Oh heck no! Sinners and criminals shouldn’t be allowed to go to church with all the other “perfect” people that are there! Oh wait. We are all imperfect and screw up. And the church that this guy may or may not go to would be with his fellow inmates….so that’s ironic.

    Does a cover-up then mean then that other members were in the dark when they should have been informed of his offenses? Does it mean that the LDS Church knew he was a sexual offender, but it hid the information so that he could continue to be a doctor at the MTC because he was the ONLY doctor that they wanted to employ? Does it mean that he didn’t have to turn in his temple recommend? His merit badges? WHAT DOES THE IMPLIED LDS CHURCH COVER UP ACTUALLY MEAN?

    Please think through any of those scenarios, and apply logic. If a person is accused of a crime, they are generally charged for said crime. When they are charged for said crime, they typically are arrested and given a court date. Due to the nature of the crime – an individual’s employer can put them on suspension, pending the results of the legal proceedings. But to be honest, most employers don’t find out someone has committed a crime, unless that person misses work because they couldn’t bail themselves out of jail. Regardless of the employer or the crime – the period of charged but not convicted of a crime is a total grey area with everyone, everywhere. I don’t know if the LDS Church even was this guys employer, but that is the factual reality of how the situation of an employer with a criminal employee plays out once the employee commits a crime. However – once someone is actually convicted of multiple felonies (as in this example), they generally GO TO JAIL. Which is what happened to this guy. Employment is irrelevant when your “job” becomes incarceration.

    My point is – once he was convicted – he would have automatically been removed from any job, church, activity, etc where he could be of potential danger to others outside of jail. THAT IS PART OF THE POINT OF PEOPLE BEING INCARCERATED. BUT WAIT…this is an “LDS Church Cover-Up!”. So again I ask – what does that mean? Did the LDS Church make a deal with the county court to get the charges dismissed? Umm… Apparently not, because he was both charged and convicted. Did the LDS Church keep him from going to jail? Nope. So WHAT WAS THE COVER-UP??? How am I missing the actual SCANDAL here??? What am I not seeing???

    If you feel the media is censoring content and that is wrong — AMEN to that! (No pun intended). However, the issue is then THE MEDIA. It’s not ANY churches duty or right to be announcing when a church members commits a crime. And if it did – I’m sure that would invoke an entirely same but different post/podcast, named something similar to “The Mormon Church is now calling out people as criminals and sinners!”.

    So then it’s the media’s responsibility to report on stories that they deem newsworthy. Is that process objective and without bias? Nope! Media outlets choosing what to talk about or not is completely subjective and I’m convinced entirely politically and economically motivated. But – no matter how I feel about the media – I still don’t see how this guys story is remotely “newsworthy”. I am trying to imagine a news station telling the story of a doctor who is now serving jail time for sex offender related crimes and…..drumroll…… HE WAS MORMON!!!! (He was also a Costco member, a Golds Gym member, and he loved to get a coke everyday from the 7-11. But those memberships are not important because MORMON MEMBERSHIP TRUMPS ALL.) Oh wait. Who the hell cares about any of that? So WHY would any media outlet WANT to tell this story?

    As someone who actually IS very concerned with media censoring (or “covering-up”) important news — personally I feel things like: Was ISIS really behind the Las Vegas shootings like they have claimed 4+ times to be, everything 9-11 related, the continued Islamic attacks on US soil that aren’t being considered “news worthy” because the media might then appear racist or discriminatory, The US Olympic Committee’s knowledge and enablement of sexual abuse — THOSE are the things that I’m concerned about being censored and “covered-up”.

    Also — why does anyone care about what church discipline people receive? In a country where we actually DO have a justice system that (although imperfect) is designed to provide punishment for said crimes — why does it matter what church discipline this guy had? Specifically to the people who don’t believe in the teachings of the LDS Church — especially why would you care if NONE OF IT IS REAL ANYWAY?

    Wait…have I finally found the “cover-up” by the Mormon church?! Are you telling me that the LDS church has “hidden” whether this man is allowed to call himself a Mormon now?? Did the church intentionally not publicize this person’s church discipline on the daily list (that doesn’t exist) that includes every other church members crimes and sins? Oh the scandal!

    I wonder what would happen if all the energy that is put into trying to discredit or convict the LDS Church and it’s current or past members were instead put toward something more important in the world. Getting water to remote areas in 3rd world civilizations, getting food to kids that will soon die of starvation, ending child trafficking, doing more to educate kids and adults about drug use and addiction – those are a few things that I think are more important. Or in order to stay on topic – how about we all create a way for the world to get educated on what is happening in their countries, without money and personal bias being the side-car attached to information sharing?

    Those things are the ones I would love to see more resources put into. Putting time and energy into the “scandal” of an old Mormon white guy already in prison serving time for the crimes for which he was convicted? Seems like a pretty huge waste to me. But then again, I guess I just took the time to respond to all of this article’s ridiculousness anyway, so apparently I’m just feeding into the problem (and not the solution) myself.

    We all can and do better than this.

    1. If the lds church was just another billion dollar corporation then they would employ many types of sexual predators. Some bosses may take their employees to a small room and perform various acts.
      However, if that corporation’s leaders claim to be given special gifts from God and claim to be prophets, seers and revelators with direct guidance from God, then one may wonder how they can call and set apart individuals who are sexual predators. If they do not have any powers of discernment when they lay their hands on a perp’s head then they are just another corporation who collects money on promises of eternal life and celestial sex for ever and ever.

      So are board of directors in touch with god or are they just a bunch of guys collecting money in exchange for promises in the here after??

    2. “`So, assuming I’m correct – let’s go with that accusation for a minute: The LDS Church is responsible for a cover-up of sexual abuse. Yikes. That DOES sound pretty awful. But wait — how does that even work? It is -obviously – a CHURCH. It isn’t a state institution of any kind, and it isn’t part of any legal justice system.“`

      Who cares if it isn’t part of any legal justice system. If my church leaders know that my sons young men leader has been accused several times of abusing young boys, I sure as hell want to know about it. If they don’t remove that leader from that position or let me know, they are covering up information that is valuable to me as a member of the organization that I have learned to trust and put faith in. If these kinds of cover-ups happen regularly, people need to know so that changes can be made.

      “`So then how is a church “covering” this up? Are they covering it up by not announcing it from the pulpit in church? Does it mean that this guy was still allowed to go to church after he was convicted?! Oh heck no! Sinners and criminals shouldn’t be allowed to go to church with all the other “perfect” people that are there! Oh wait. We are all imperfect and screw up. And the church that this guy may or may not go to would be with his fellow inmates….so that’s ironic.“`

      I don’t think this has to do with the issue at all. Sure, Doc is a sinner, let him go to church I don’t frickin care. But how many people was he allowed to touch as a doctor at the MTC all the while the church knew about it and long before he ever went to jail?

      “`My point is – once he was convicted – he would have automatically been removed from any job, church, activity, etc where he could be of potential danger to others outside of jail. “`

      Sure, but how many people were abused from the time church leaders were informed of the problems until the time he went to jail?

      “`HE WAS MORMON!!!! (He was also a Costco member, a Golds Gym member, and he loved to get a coke everyday from the 7-11. But those memberships are not important because MORMON MEMBERSHIP TRUMPS ALL“`

      Yeah, but I’m not afraid that he will try and use his Costco membership or coke drinking authority to his advantage in trying to touch me on my private or have me do sexual things.

      “`why would you care if NONE OF IT IS REAL ANYWAY?“`

      I for one have a couple daughters who do believe it is real. I feel that it might be important for them to know that they may be in a dangerous situation even in areas and among priesthood holders who they feel they think they should be 100% trusting of. Problem is that I can tell them that, but they won’t believe me.

      If someone is in a position of trust and the church knows the person has and may continue to violate that trust, and they allow the person to retain than position, then they are covering up information that if otherwise divulged could have prevented harm to individuals.

    3. Well said. I’m done with Mormon Stories. People sin. People commit crimes. People suffer, victims and criminals. Bad things happen on earth. BUT PEOPLE OVERCOME. Both victims and criminals. Ever heard of Viktor Frankl?
      This site and many like it are ugly because arrogant, self-absorbed, “righteous” Mormons/Ex-mormons/Non-mormons, whatever, make themselves victims. YOU John, contribute to the ugliest side of human nature. What you do on this site to this man is significantly worse than what he did. You will not allow people to heal, nor seek forgiveness, nor forgive. You will not allow people to move on. You continually keep things stirred up. Victims CAN overcome, do you know that? Criminals CAN overcome, do you know that? This man’s situation is none of your business and if their was ever a sin people will regret it is what you’re doing to other human beings. You’ve cast the first stone. And you know deep in your heart you love that this man did what he did – because it validates you. It makes you feel better about the type of person you are. Pat yourself on the back. Congratulate yourself for not being born in a situation that would have led you to this man’s fate. Good job. Good for you. God must really favor you. You must be his choicest. Because he respects you.
      This website contributes to the society we now get to enjoy – a society that rejects forgiveness. And a society without forgiveness is NOT free. It will eat itself.
      Again, what you are doing to this man, and other so called “bad guys” or “sinners”, is significantly worse than what they did. I will stand by that to the day I die. Even if this man was a murder, you have outdone him. The direct, true victim is the only person that has a say in these types of things, not you. And that person can ONLY heal by forgiving, no matter how difficult.
      I am not coming back.

  3. Usually when a member is convicted of a felony, they will be disfellowshipped, temporarily banned from taking the sacrament. But with a conviction as horrendous as sexual assault, i believe he should be excommunicated.

  4. Not necessarily. He is paying for a crime. I don’t know what crime. If he is guilty of sexually abusing young missionaries or anyone else, the membership has a right to know. His story should be told, if for no other reason, to let the faithful Mormons be fully aware that part of the money they pay to send their kids on missions, also pays for monsters like this. The leadership has been aware of these things for a long time. I found out they actively cover this stuff up in the late 1980’s when I was a psych nurse.

  5. I am unaware of his status with the Church, but let me know if you ever need his or any other ecclesiastical leader’s criminal history. I work for a screening company and have access to criminal databases that most civilians do not.

  6. Yes Pamela, it appears he may be “paying for his crimes.” However, if the Church is culpable for any of this systematic abuse, are they paying for their crimes?

  7. Bravo John for taking on this issue. When church members are counseled, “don’t ruin this good man’s life by bringing charges through the legal system”, victims suffer in silence for decades, and justice is never served. I hope that this is a “MeToo” opportunity for victims to come forward, stand together, and change this corrupt culture.

  8. This guy was my Bishop when I first got married and had a license plate on a Gold Ford Explorer of MTCDR. He actually denied me a reccomend at the time because I told him I looked at porn before I got married.

  9. Some may take offense that the church is being blamed for the actions of some of its members. They may feel that it is not the church’s fault if some member does a bad thing. They may argue that any corporation or organization will have members who do not uphold the organizations goals. In a recent case of alleged sexual abuse, a prominent leader allegedly confessed to serious sexual abuse of someone he had a responsibility to protect

    . If the lds church was just another billion dollar corporation then they would employ many types of sexual predators. Some may take advantage of those they lead and use their power over them to satisfy their sexual desires.
    However, if that corporation’s leaders claim to be given special gifts from God and claim to be prophets, seers and revelators with direct guidance from God, then one may wonder how they can call and set apart individuals who are sexual predators. If they do not have any powers of discernment when they lay their hands upon the person they have chosen to call to a position of power, then they are just another corporation. They have no special spiritual gifts. The LDS corporation collects money in exchange for promises of eternal life and celestial sex for ever and ever. They issue certificates testifying to this promise. If they cannot even discern that they have given a sexual predator power to abuse young women how can their promise of celestial ecstasy be of any value?

    Are the apostles who claim to be prophets, seers and revelators really in touch with god or are they just a corporation collecting billions in exchange for worthless promises of eternal ecstasy in the life here after??

  10. There will be people who will take advantage of others. Whether that is in the LDS church, the Catholic church or any other church or group. Good on you John for highlighting the need for stronger scrutiny of people who are in positions such as bishops, Stake presidents, MTC presidents, mission presidents. The Apostles of the LDS church need to change the ‘authority’ status of these positions. Christ can represent himself. The membership of the church need to realise that these individuals are human. Humans make mistakes, some prey on others. The membership need to realise that bishops or presidents are not always inspired. They just make mistakes. Some make really big mistakes.

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