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Church Investigations

Utah Church Youth Leader Charged with Sexually Abusing Teen Boy

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A youth leader at a Utah church has been arrested on charges that he sexually abused a teenage boy who was a member of the congregation. 

A police affidavit said that as the alleged victim’s religious leader at New Life Christian Fellowship in Tooele for the past two years, Zachary Dale Park, 20, was “in a position of trust” over him.  

New Life senior pastor Mark Runyon told KSL.com that Park was a volunteer at the church and did not hold an official title. Runyon said he was the one who contacted police, and that the allegations “completely rocked our world here, for everybody.”

The 14-year-old alleged victim said he had viewed pornography with Park on multiple occasions and that Park had touched him inappropriately, per KSL.

Park is under investigation for forcible sexual abuse, dealing in harmful materials to a minor and lewdness.

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Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.