UTAH COUNTY, UT – An arrest was made this week in Utah County regarding what’s being referred to as a “ritualistic child sex abuse” and human trafficking investigation, with at least one suspect having a long history of child abuse and grooming.
The apprehended suspect, 68-year-old former therapist David Hamblin, had been previously charged with 18 counts of child sex abuse, including at least one female family member. Additionally, one of his previous alleged victims, a man by the name of Brett Bluth, accused Hamblin of both grooming and abusing Bluth while trying to “heal” Bluth of homosexuality.
Reportedly Hamblin used his practice and “treatment” regiments as a vessel for his abuse and trafficking, along with multiple other persons who have not been named as of yet.
An investigation had been announced on May 31, 2022 regarding over 130 victims being deemed as “credible” across three counties- Utah, Juab, and Sanpete. The timeline for these cases took place between 1990 and 2010.
The following day (June 1, 2022), the County Attorney David Leavitt held a press conference, where he called the investigation “politically motivated” and said that he had a previous link to Hamblin. He was named in a 151-page “victim statement” as one of over a dozen people who allegedly “practiced ritual sexual abuse of children.”
“This therapist was my elder’s quorum president in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Leavitt said at the time. “He was my neighbor. I had a family connection. When his wife learned of whatever he was doing, she divorced him, and I testified at that divorce hearing. I’m well aware of who the therapist is, and I’m well aware of many of the players here. I had a friendship with he and his wife to the extent that I went into court and testified on behalf of his wife to protect his children from him.
“There is no organized ring of abuse. It was debunked more than 10 years ago. The allegations that are there are so outlandish and so crazy that – yeah, they’re just not true… That this all occurs less than one week before ballots drop in an election in which I am participating causes me tremendous concern.”
Another prosecutor in Leavitt’s office, however, refuted Leavitt’s claims, saying that the case was not politically motivated. Juab County Attorney Ryan Peters has been appointed as a special prosecutor of the case this time.
Apparently, Hamblin had not been convicted of these previous charges in August, but Bluth is confident that this time the charges against the pedophile will stick. “I do think it will be different (this time),” Bluth said. “Hypnosis was a big part of [Hamblin’s treatment for me]. [Hamblin] told me from the very beginning, that that was his main technique. Dr. Hamblin would say, ‘Do you want to be healed of your homosexuality, or not?’ and the answer was yes.”
Hamblin reportedly confessed on an “undercover recording to sexually assaulting at least one of the alleged victims” back in August. Nevertheless, the case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it could be reopened. That is what appears to have occurred, though a trial date has not been set at the time of this writing.
Currently, police say, Hamblin is being held on six counts of first-degree felony sexual offenses against a child and other offenses, including:
- Three counts of sodomy of a child, a first-degree felony
- Rape of a child, a first-degree felony
- Two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first degree felony
- Lewdness involving a child, a class A misdemeanor