Investigators say former Utah County therapist is ‘threat to children’ for ‘egregious crimes’
UTAH COUNTY, Utah — Former therapist David Lee Hamblin, 68, was said to be “a threat to the children and citizens of Utah County” in court documents that also request he be held without bail for “egregious crimes against a child.”
Investigators also said despite having his license revoked as a therapist, Hamblin continued to perform “healing circles” and “the abuse may be ongoing.”
Hamblin was arrested and booked Wednesday on suspicion of six felony charges for sex crimes against children including rape of a child.
The affidavit of probable cause, written by a sergeant of the Utah County Special Victim’s Unit, states that a victim came forward in April of 2022 to report she had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by Hamblin as a child, starting when she was 6 or 7 years old when her family lived in the same neighborhood as the Hamblin family.
The victim came forward in the same month an investigation was announced. That investigation, and subsequent press conferences, raised the profile of the investigation.
“The victim stated she would regularly play with David’s children and had been babysat on numerous occasions by David,” documents state. She told investigators the first assault she could remember happened when she was playing at the Hamblin residence and involved two other child victims, also sexually assaulted on that occasion.
“The 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 investigators. Another assault detailed in the documents happened just before the victim was going to be baptized when she was 7 or 8 years old. The victim said she was forced into a sleeping bag and raped and otherwise sexually assaulted.
Another assault reported by the victim was at 13.
The victim said the abuse started in the ’80s and continued into the ’90s. There was an earlier case against Hamblin that was dropped. Investigators said the current case and victim is independent of that case, backed up by other victims and witnesses. Deputies said the woman was afraid to come forward for many years.
“Back on May 31 we put out a press release, telling that we were in the middle of an investigation involving ritualistic child sexual abuse, and asking any victims or anybody who knew about victims to come forward,” Utah County Sgt. Spencer Cannon said Wednesday. “We’ve had over 130 people come forward with information either that they had been victimized, or that knew people who had been victimized.”
“David Hamblin was a licensed therapist whose license was revoked by the State of Utah due to allegations that he was sexually abusing his client(s),” court documents state. “Through this investigation, it has been reported that David continues to perform “therapy” under the guise of “healing circles” and upon information and belief, the abuse may be ongoing. David Hamblin is a threat to the children and citizens of Utah County.”
Investigators said there are ongoing investigations with other victims and Hamblin as a perpetrator. He was arrested Wednesday specifically for the charges related to one victim.
“We are requesting the David Hamblin be held without bail on these egregious crimes against a child,” investigators said in court documents.
“It’s a difficult thing for someone to do when you realize that this woman has lived with this and basically held it in since the mid to late 1980’s as a young girl,” Cannon said. “And that’s a very challenging, very difficult situation for her to endure at the time and to live with the rest of that time.
Documents state the Juab County Attorney Ryan Peters was selected as a special assistant general by the Utah Attorney General to prosecute the case.
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