A former bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Utah County arrested in June for drugging and sexually abusing two teen boys pleaded guilty to his crimes Wednesday.
Erik Hughes, 51, pleaded guilty to two second-degree felonies of forcible sexual abuse and one third-degree felony of tampering with a witness, according to the Daily Herald.
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He was arrested after police say he gave the underage boys pills before sexually abusing them. According to police reports, a now 18-year-old man reported to the Division of Child and Family Services that Hughes had drugged him and sexually assaulted him several times about three years ago, when he was 15.
A second man later came forward and reportedly told police Hughes had sexually abused him between 30 and 50 times, the Daily Herald reported.
According to KUTV, the first victim told police that Hughes frequently asked about his personal growth and whether he was going through puberty. He said Hughes would give him a white pill, which he thought was melatonin, as he takes it to help him sleep.
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However, the victim said he felt weird after taking the pill, according to a probable cause arrest statement. When the victim told Hughes about the strange sensation, Hughes said he must have given him the wrong one and that he would make sure not to mix them up again.
On a separate occasion, Hughes gave the victim a smoothie, but when he opened the bottle, it came open easily, suggesting the seal had been broken. The victim told police the smoothie tasted bitter, but he still drank it, according to the police report. He stated that the smoothie had similar effects to the pill he had previously been given.
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The second victim, now 22, told police that Hughes started grooming him at age 16 and first assaulted him when he was 17, measuring his penis and dosing him with Viagra. One one occasion Hughes asked the victim to accompany him to Las Vegas, where he gave the boy a pill that made him feel groggy. According to police reports, Hughes then performed oral sex on the victim.
Hughes will be sentenced on Oct. 10, the Daily Herald reported. The maximum time he could serve in Utah State Prison is one to 15 years for each second-degree felony.