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Mormon Counselor Charged with Raping Gay Patients in Utah

Scott Owen Mormon Provo Utah
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Disgraced former counselor Scott Dale Owen promised a different approach to helping gay patients deal with their sexual urges and was even recommended by some church leaders.

A mental health professional who counseled gay Mormons on how to overcome their sexual urges was charged with raping and forcibly sodomizing two former male patients.

Scott Dale Owen, 64, was charged with four counts of forcible sodomy and six counts of object rape in Utah’s 4th District Court in Provo on Monday, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. He was arrested last Wednesday following a four-hour standoff with police after he missed a scheduled surrender.

The charges date from 2010 to 2017 and involve two men who sought help from Owen with their respective same-sex sexual attractions. The two men allege Owen kissed and cuddled them and touched them during counseling sessions. One man also alleges Owen fellated him on numerous occasions.

Owen was known within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as having success counseling gay men of faith who wanted to overcome their sexual urges. According to court documents, he promised a more personal approach to counseling, and his services were often recommended by the church. However, many of his former patients who spoke with police allege he instead used the counseling sessions to sexually assault them or otherwise engage in unethical or inappropriate sexual behavior. In their charging affidavit, police say they spoke with at least 12 former patients since August who allege some form of criminal sexual behavior by Owen.

In August, Owen was the subject of an extensive investigative exposé by the Tribune and Pro Publica in which several former patients alleged abuse by the former mental health practitioner.

Owen, who practiced at Canyon Counseling in Provo, was reprimanded by the state in 2016 for inappropriately touching patients and surrendered his license to practice in 2018 following additional complaints from former patients. However, he reportedly continued to be active at Canyon Counseling.

Owen remains in custody after he was denied bail.

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