Prosecutors drop charge against former bishop accused of abusing teen

A criminal charge filed against a former Latter-day Saint bishop accused of inappropriately touching a teenage girl during a girls camp has been dropped.

And Nathan Evershed, the attorney for James Douglas Robinson, 63, said the case "frankly never should have been filed."

On Nov. 12, an 8th District Court judge in Duchesne signed an order dismissing the case against Robinson. The Duchesne County Attorney's Office had filed a motion to have the case dismissed "in the interest of justice."

Evershed said he was grateful that the prosecutor was willing to consider additional evidence — including timelines, receipts and additional witness statements — that his team had collected.

"We were able to provide evidence and information that we were trying to get to the (police) detective beforehand but were unable to," he said. "(The prosecutor) did the right thing. My client was innocent."

The move to dismiss the case came just a few days before Robinson was scheduled to make his initial appearance in court.

In September, Robinson was charged with forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony. A 15-year-old girl claimed that during a trip in June at Reid Ranch Resort in Hanna, Duchesne County, Robinson — who was her church bishop at the time — had inappropriately touched her over her clothing.

"Consistent with its policies, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported this matter when these allegations were disclosed, and the bishop was released while the investigation proceeded," church spokesman Sam Penrod said in a statement Tuesday. "We understand that following their investigation, civil authorities have dropped all charges. We hope that all involved can find the peace and healing they need."

Evershed said he doesn't know why the girl made the allegation.

"What she said was not accurate. What she claimed was not true," he said, adding that Robinson is "completely innocent."