The former host of a Mormon Church radio program that decried the evils of child abuse and pornography was sentenced Monday to one to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl.
Lloyd Gerald Pond, 51, pleaded guilty in November to felony forcible sexual abuse, a charge reduced from forcible sodomy. The plea bargain provoked public debate about whether Pond got a break because he was a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The victim told police that Pond, a church acquaintance, had offered to help her with a modeling career when she was 11, and had paid her to talk dirty over the phone for him, photographed her in revealing clothing, and then tricked her into performing a sex act.
Pond was host of the church’s “Times and Seasons” national radio program, which promoted Mormon values. He was fired in November.
Prosecutor James Cope suggested at the time of the arrest that Pond may have committed the crime because he was in a “midlife crisis.”
A state legislator expressed outrage at the comment, and letters to the editor of Salt Lake City newspapers demanded prison for Pond.