Washington City man pleads guilty to forcible sexual abuse involving minor

Composite image. | Thomas Larkin's booking photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Washington City man has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor over whom he held a position of trust.

Thomas Grant Larkin, 55, pleaded guilty to first-degree felony object rape and second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse during a hearing held in 5th District Court July 15.

Larkin was originally charged with four counts each of first-degree felony object rape and second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse when the case was filed by the Washington County Attorney’s Office June 2. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the remaining charges were dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea.

The charges were filed following an investigation that began June 1, during which a forensic interview was conducted with a juvenile who told police that Larkin had sexually abused them on several occasions, the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest states. 

Later that same day, the suspect was interviewed at the Washington City Police Department, where he allegedly admitted to touching the child on multiple occasions, describing acts that were consistent with what was reported to police during the interview at the Children’s Justice Center hours earlier. 

Thomas Grant Larkin, 55, of Washington City, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, June 2, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Larkin told detectives that he “believed it only happened those times but stated that there could be more times than he recalled,” officers noted in the statement. 

Court records indicate the abuse took place over a four-month period, beginning in December 2018. The acts that were performed “without the victim’s consent,” allegations the defendant admitted to in his statement in support of the guilty plea filed July 15.

After his arrest, the defendant made an initial appearance in 5th District Court on June 5, where District Judge Eric A. Ludlow set bail at $150,000 cash-only. When Larkin’s public defender, Larry Meyers, requested that bail be reduced during a felony roll call hearing held 11 days later, the state objected to the reduction and the request was denied by District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox.

This is not the first time the defendant has been arrested for an offense involving a child. On March 1, 1986, he was charged with one count of Lewdness with a child, a class A misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty to the charge one month later and was fined $500 and placed on one year of probation. The case was closed in January 1988.

Moreover, detectives found through the course of the investigation that Larkin has held other positions of trust within the community for years, Washington City Police Chief Jason Williams told St. George News.

The defendant has remained in custody since the arrest June 2 and is scheduled to appear in 5th District Court for sentencing Aug. 25 at 3 p.m.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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