Allegations of Cannibalism & Ritualistic Sexual Abuse Targeting Utah Attorney Came From Man Being Prosecuted for UT Rape

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A press release from the Utah County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that Detectives of their Special Victims Unit are "investigating reports of ritualistic child sexual abuse from as far back as 1990." The press release details how multiple individuals claim to be victims of ritualistic sexual abuse and trafficking throughout Utah, Juab, and Sanpete counties. The Sheriff's office has confirmed the validity of a portion of the allegations. Additionally, they urge any other victims to come forward, stating,

We are pleading with the public and encourage victims, or individuals with knowledge of these crimes, to contact the Utah County Sheriff's Office Special Victim's Unit so that they can be offered all the assistance possible. We understand that there are individuals who have concerns for their safety and/or well-being who have been silenced. We need your help."[i]

As a result, stories have begun to circulate, speculating what people believe is described in a 151-page document released to the Sheriff's Office. The document allegedly names Utah County Attorney David Leavitt and his wife and accuses them of "cannibalizing young children" and "participating in a 'ritualistic' sex ring." Leavitt earnestly denies the allegations. [ii]

Leavitt states that the new claims against him stem from decades-old allegations. The allegations were made in an online post published by Nicolas Rossi, who Leavitt's office is prosecuting for a 2008 Utah county rape case. In the online post, the man claims to have confirmation from "Utah County Sheriff Sgt. Spencer Cannon" that Attorney Leavitt was the "head of a widespread ritual sex abuse ring in Utah." Despite being linked to the Utah crime, the man in question denies that he is, in fact, Nicolas Rossi. In a BBC interview, the individual claims instead to be born as Nicholas Brown but better-known as Arthur Knight. He is said to have had at least 16 different names, all of which he states are typos. He further asserts that he cannot stand unassisted, that he is oxygen-dependent, married to Miranda Knight, and has never set foot in America. [iii]

The authorities disagree. Prosecutors are sure that this man is Nicolas Alahverdian 'Rossi,' who faked his death in the United States. Authorities say Rossi then traveled abroad and began living in Scotland under a different name. Knight, or "Rossi," is the man prosecutors determined was in a Scottish hospital through photographic and DNA confirmation. In addition, authorities also used tattoos to identify the man as the suspect. The interviewer asked Knight to roll his shirt sleeve up to confirm he did not have an identical forearm tattoo as "Rossi, but " he refused. [iv]

Confirming some allegations by the Utah County Sheriff's Office only makes the details of this case more unsettling. It resurfaces memories of the 1992 Gilmer (Texas) Cannibal Cult case. Fifteen children were removed from their homes and placed into protective foster care following investigations relating to sadistic sexual abuse and victimization claims. The abuse was alleged to have been inflicted by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others. Many children detailed sordid details such as "being forced to ingest blood, urine and feces, deviant sex practices, and other behaviors indicative of ritual activities. Though the criminal investigation of murder and child abuse was aborted, one individual would file a suit claiming malicious prosecution concerning the charges of ritualistic child abuse in Brown v. Lyford, 243 F.3d 185 (5th Cir.2001).

Similarly, the Sheriff's Office's Press Release states the investigation is based on 'ritualistic child sexual abuse reports.' Because of this, many speculate what specific accusations against Leavitt could categorize them as 'ritualistic.' Research from the US DOJ's Office of Justice Programs points out that law enforcement personnel should be alert for the four essential dynamics of child sex rings:

  1. Multiple young victims,
  2. multiple offenders,
  3. 'fear' as the controlling tactic, and
  4. multidimensional rings.

Holding this thought, what role does Leavitt play as an attorney, if involved? Until the 151-page document is released, details will remain scarce to corroborate whether there is any proper basis for the claims against the Utah attorney and his wife. [vi]

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References

[i] Utah County Sheriff's Office Press Release, Sheriff's Office Investigating Ritualistic Child Sexual Abuse, (May 31, 2022)

[ii] Cami Mondeaux, Utah attorney says he's wrongly accused of cannibalism amid reelection bid, (Jun. 02, 2022)

[iii] Vivian Chow, Man arrested on Utah rape charges in Scotland says police made a mistake, (Mar. 15, 2022)

[iv] Id.

[v] Caveat Lector, The Strange Case of the Gilmer (Texas) Cannibal Cult, (Feb. 04, 2002)

[vi] USDOJ Office of Justice Programs, Investigator's Guide to Allegations of "Ritual" Child Abuse (1992)

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Currently pursuing a Juris Doctor at Western State, writer Charnell Gilchrist is writing her way through law school.

Aliso Viejo, CA
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