A total of six men have come forward to say a therapist recommended and paid for by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints touched them inappropriately during counseling sessions related to struggles with their sexuality, Jessica Miller reports for ProPublica and the Salt Lake Tribune. The three men who most recently came forward said their counseling sessions with clinical mental health counselor Scott Owen were paid for with money donated by church members to help those in need.
A Tribune/ProPublica report in August showed that Utah’s Division of Professional Licensing and LDS church officials had known about allegations of inappropriate touching involving one of the men and were slow to act. The church has not publicly reevaluated its own role in referring these men to a therapist they now say abused them. State licensers stopped Owen from practicing in 2018 after investigating at least three complaints of inappropriate touching in a two-year period. He is one of several Utah therapists who have received church funds for sessions who in recent weeks have been accused of abusive behavior.