Timothy Bothell Gets Measly Two Years for “Accidentally” Exposing Himself to Little Girls… Eight Times

Timothy William BothellBackstory:

• “Tim Bothell: Utah Mormon Stake Leader, LDS & BYU Employee & Boy Scout Leader Charged With Sexually Abusing Two Young Girls (‘Accidentally’… Eight Times),” August 18, 2012

• “Remember Big-Time Mormon Tim Bothell, Who ‘Accidentally’ Exposed Himself to Children… 8 Times?,” February 8, 2013

Timothy William Bothell — the Centerville, Utah, Mormon stake leader, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints employee (he managed the Missionary Department, which means he trained mission presidents) and Brigham Young University employee and Boy Scout leader — was sentenced Friday to just a lousy two years in jail (not even prison) as the result of a plea deal purportedly aimed at protecting his two young victims by keeping them off the witness stand.

Sure, we can understand that: What dad wants to put his little girls through the torture of having to describe sexual abuse at the hands (literally) of such a respected pillar of the community? (We say “dad” because, in an especially tragic footnote, the victims’ mother reportedly died in February of a heart attack. We expect this whole, ugly mess just plain killed her.)

Still, the sentence strikes us (and a lot of other folks) as a true travesty of justice.

Today’s Standard-Examiner explains how Judge Glen C. Dawson came to his decision (it sounds to us like he was under a lot of pressure from Bothell’s “family, friends, neighbors and former coworkers”), which completely knocked back the recommendation of Utah’s Adult Probation & Parole agency “that Bothell serve three years to life in the Utah State Prison.”

Judge Dawson also gave Bothell a full week to report to jail (rather than remand him into custody immediately), and allowed Bothell “to leave the courtroom out a back door, instead of leaving with his attorney, family and friends through the front public entrance where TV cameras and reporters were waiting.”

We’re at a loss to understand how Judge Dawson could impose such a light sentence — and give Bothell what appears to us to be special, kid-gloves treatment — no matter how he might have “struggled with the case.”

A few comments at the Salt Lake Trib caught our attention; we neither support nor deny their validity, but we admit they certainly make us think:

If he had been Catholic or Protestent he would have gotten life without parole no doubt…

Brother judge went easy on brother abuser.

The sentence of just two years is far too light. It really does make one wonder about the judge, his religion (mormon?) and his relationship to the convict and the convicts family. In this case, I don’t think justice was served.

This convict has a Ph.D. in psychology, ergo, he knows how to use his training and skill sets to scam the judge as well, and he did a pretty decent job to only get two years.

Get the feeling that Dawson is more upset that he is forced to hand out jail time, than the fact that his mormon brother committed these crimes?

“Dawson also said the probation was ‘zero tolerance,’ yo Judge ‘zero tolerance’ means you give a child sexual abuser AT LEAST 20 years. you coward

Apparently his resume seems to trump the crime. Who would have guessed?

Could have gotten life but only got 2 yrs? We’ll see this guy in the paper again. Thanks Judge Dawson.

It’s worth noting (and wondering why) this is not the first time Judge Dawson has imposed a surprisingly light sentence, even after — as in the case of Brandon Jay Olsen — admitting the perp “probably” deserved more.

Maybe Judge Dawson is soft on crime. We don’t know. All we know is that he was awfully soft on Timothy Bothell.

Oh, well, even if justice wasn’t served, at least Friday’s sentencing explains this morning’s nastygram.[1] Thanks, nasty commenter, for reminding us to follow up on Tim’s case today… although we doubt that prompting yet another post on the subject was your intent. Maybe if you want people to stop talking about your homeboy, you’ll learn to refrain from lashing out — especially so recklessly — at those of us who don’t abuse children.

1. In case you’re wondering, we decided to be nice and just ban the commenter, rather than report him to his ISP for abuse. After discovering exactly who he is, we didn’t want to be responsible for potentially disrupting his Internet service — he’s got a business to run. Guess we must be in a good mood today.

By the way, “Blah_Blah_You_Losers,” can’t you come up with a more original alias if you’re going to abuse us and post silly comments at the Salt Lake Trib? We feel so… not special now. *sniff!*

Seriously, ‘though, what the fetch is this supposed to mean…?

“What do any of you know about this case? You don’t know the details and how and why the incidents happened, so stop judging and get a life!”

“Why the incidents happened”? “Why”? Sorry, dude, but there’s no “why” in any of this; there is no reason other than the obvious (well, obvious to everyone except you, we suppose). If there were any explanation that could excuse his egregious behavior, wouldn’t Bothell have used it in his own defense? Rhetorical question. But if you’re referring to Bothell’s claim of having been “exposed to abuse as a young child himself,” no sale: We know more survivors of childhood sexual abuse than we care to count, and not one of them has ever used that as a lame excuse for abusing a child — nor abused any child at all.

Even Bothell himself admits his complete guilt and responsibilty for his vile actions (repeat: his vile actions, nobody else’s); per the Standard-Examiner:

“I’m grateful (the victims) saw me get arrested,” Bothell said at the hearing.

Bothell said the girls need to know what he did was inappropriate and not their fault.

“This behavior is repulsive and it’s horrible,” Bothell said.

The Trib adds:

“I’m very grateful that this is moving forward,” Bothell said. “I’m grateful that [the victim] saw me lose my job so that she can realize that my employer does not tolerate this kind of behavior.”

As jaded observers, we cam’t help but suspect that Bothell’s outpouring of remorse is all for show; if he knew what he was doing was wrong when he did it, why wasn’t he this remorseful after the first time? Prosecutor Cristina Ortega, notes the Trib, “said that while Bothell had been ‘very proactive’ in taking responsibility for his actions, she still pushed for a prison sentence because Bothell’s actions were repeated. ‘That first incident, there was an awareness that what he did was wrong. And then it didn’t stop,’ Ortega said.”

In any case, there it is, on the record: Bothell takes responsibility for his actions, while his defenders seem to be the ones tying themselves in knots trying to excuse his behavior.

But then, as we’ve said many times before, we’ve heard the same, stale old refrain of protest and denial from the families and friends (and fans) of perps too many times to count.

Why do they do it? We don’t pretend to understand the need to cling so tightly to such crushing cognitive dissonance, but we suppose that discovering an idol’s feet of clay is just too much for some people to handle. After all, if one is forced to confront an awful truth about someone (or something) one holds in impossibly high regard, the shattering of one’s fragile perceptions might force the dreaded question: “If I was wrong all my life about this, what else might I be wrong about?” Nobody likes his entire belief system being rocked to its core. Nobody enjoys the persistent gnawing that threatens to grow into a full-blown — and literal — “crisis of faith.”

Sure, it’s painful. We know. We’ve been there. But we’d rather live in the world of reality.

Go back to article.


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  2. Tim Bothell: Utah Mormon Stake Leader, LDS & BYU Employee & Boy Scout Leader Charged With Sexually Abusing Two Young Girls (“Accidentally”… Eight Times)
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