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LDS bishop signs diversion in child-abuse-reporting case

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ST. GEORGE — An LDS bishop accused of failing to report child sexual abuse has signed a diversion agreement with the Washington County Attorney's Office.

Under the agreement, the Class B misdemeanor charge against Brent Atkinson will be dismissed if he abides by terms of the agreement for one year, said Deputy County Attorney Tara Dugan.

The agreement calls for Atkinson to do 100 hours of community service, commit no law violations and pay $250 in court administration fees.

Dugan and defense attorney Lowry Snow both called it an appropriate resolution.

According to Justice Court records, the incident happened in the town of Central between August 1998 and January 2000.

Dugan said she could not comment on the circumstances, as they relate to a pending case — that of David Marlen McGhie.

McGhie, 36, was arrested in January and charged with forcible sexual abuse and forcible sodomy.

Two other LDS bishops in Utah have been charged this year with failing to report child sexual abuse.