St. George man arrested for alleged forcible sexual abuse on juveniles, tampering with witness

In this 2020 stock image of St. George Police Patrol Vehicle taken in St. George, Utah, Jan. 29, 2020 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A St. George man is in jail on forcible sexual abuse charges following an investigation by St. George Police detectives who discovered a second juvenile who was also allegedly molested during an interview with the first.

On Monday a St. George Police detective was assigned to investigate a report of sexual abuse involving a suspect, later identified as 43-year-old Clinton Douglas Gibson, of St. George, accused of the sexually abusing an underaged family member, according to charging documents filed with the courts.

During an interview with police, the youth recounted multiple instances of Gibson initiating sexual contact or touching her inappropriately, abuse that continued over the course of six months.

Through the course of the investigation detectives learned of a second youth who was also allegedly abused by the suspect. Detectives then interviewed the underage relative who also disclosed instances of inappropriate touching and sexual contact, abuse that police say began very recently.

The youth also reportedly told officers she reported the abuse to another family member who then contacted police.

Stock image by Cody Blowers for illustrative purposes only, St. George News

When the suspect was contacted by authorities, he agreed to meet at the police department for an interview the following day and, according to the report, detectives told Gibson he was prohibited from having any contact with the youths or other relatives involved in the case.

Later that same night, the suspect went to the juveniles’ home where he attempted to pressure them into retracting their statements so that “he would not be in trouble,” the officer wrote, and he attempted to speak to them a second time after following them to school.

On Tuesday afternoon, the suspect turned himself into police and was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility shortly after 5 p.m. where he is being held without bail.

Washington County Prosecutor Ryan Shaum told St. George News that Gibson has been formally charged with three second-degree felony counts of forcible sexual abuse and two third-degree felony counts of tampering with a witness.

The tampering charges were filed due to Gibson’s attempt to speak to the youths, Shaum said, even after he was told to have no contact with them.

The suspect was scheduled to make an initial appearance in 5th District Court on Wednesday afternoon.

Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained. 

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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