- (Photo: Salt Lake City County Jail)
A leader from the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, who has since been removed from his position, was charged on Tuesday in Salt Lake City for allegedly attacking a teenage girl, her mother, and her 20-year-old brother, whom police say he bit on the genitals.
Efrey Guzman, 46, who was the Latino branch president in the city, was charged with aggravated sexual assault, burglary, sex abuse and child sex abuse. The man, who was described as a "family friend," allegedly tried to sexually assault a 13-year-old girl during a visit to her home in May, but was scared away by her 20-year-old brother. Charges were not filed immediately. However, in August Guzman allegedly broke into the family's home and assaulted the girl's mother, the Salt Lake Tribune revealed.
"The defendant pushed his way into the residence and began to assault the mother," the arrest affidavit reads. "She yelled for help and tried to fight the defendant off. She said the defendant ripped her shirt exposing her breast."
When the 20-year-old brother entered the room, Guzman apparently grabbed and bit the victim's genitals through his boxer shorts, causing extensive injury that required the young man to get surgery.
The names of the family members were not revealed in the report and were only identified by their initials. The Salk Lake Tribune reported that they refused to speak with local media about the incident. Police did not reveal what possible motive Guzman might have had for targeting the family.
"There is some medical things that may affect this man for a long period of time and emotionally these children are devastated," said Kent Kuhn, a local LDS bishop.
"She thought it'd be safer here and this makes us really sad to think that something like that could happen here on our street," added Gloria Kuhn, the bishop's wife.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has since removed Guzman from his position, stating: "Mr. Guzman has been released from his church duties effective immediately and faces further church discipline following the legal process." He will also face further church disciplinary action after the legal process is over.
A $300,000 bail has been set for Guzman at Salt Lake County jail as he awaits his first court appearance on Friday.