First arrest made in Utah ritual abuse investigation
Utah County, Utah: Months after news of a ritual abuse investigation made national headlines, the first arrest was announced yesterday.
The now former therapist at the center of the investigation, 68-year-old David Hamblin was taken into custody Wednesday morning. He is currently in custody at the Utah County Jail.
At this time, the charges against Hamblin include three counts of sodomy on a child, rape of a child, two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and lewdness involving a child.
According to records obtained by Fox 13, Hamblin was secretly recorded confessing to sexual abuse of a female family member during a phone call.
"I'm sorry for raping you," Hamblin reportedly stated. "I'm not saying it wasn't true... I'm not saying somebody in my body didn't do it."
Charges previously filed against Hamblin in 2012 were dropped by the Utah County's Attorney's Office in 2014 citing difficulty obtaining medical records and other corroborating evidence.
Brett Bluth, who spoke with the news station at the time the investigation was first announced at the end of May, expressed optimism about Hamblin's arrest.
"I do think it will be different (this time)," Brett said.
Brett previously said that, "Hypnosis was a big part of (his treatment)" and explained that Hamblin had told him, "That was his main technique."
"He had a yellow notepad with lined papers of notes, and he would read them back to me saying, 'This is what one of your personalities said while you were under hypnosis,': Brett recalled. "I told him I was never under... (but) I went home from those sessions thinking I had hurt other people."
Brett alleges that Hamblin spent hours each week attempting to convince him that the homosexuality that he was there to receive healing for was the result of "systemic ritual and sexual abuse" that he had suffered as a child.
In 2000 Hamblin surrendered his license after admitting he "had intimate relationships with several patients during clinical therapy sessions and claimed to some of these patients that the intimacy was therapeutic to them."
Although no longer a licensed therapist, Hamblin reportedly conducts therapeutic "peyote ceremonies" through his new church.
During a protest in Utah City against the ban of peyote in religious ceremonies Hamblin said, "People say it's a hallucinogen, which it's not. It's a plant portal to the spirit world. If you believe in the reality of the spirit world, what you see is real, whether it's negative or positive."
Citing arrest documents filed against Hamblin, a woman told investigators that when she was 6 or 7 years old she was sexually assaulted in Hamblin's basement "while he cirtiqued and criticized her abilities."
"The victim described the shame she felt and her confusion at the time. Two other child victims who were present when the assault occurred have both been interviewed and have corroborated what this victim has disclosed."
According to the statement released by the Utah County Sheriff's Office, this matter is still an active investigation. "We will not discuss ongoing details of this case."
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