Former BYU Student Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping

     A former BYU student plead guilty this week to charges of kidnapping and obstruction of justice in connection with a girl he home taught.

     Stetson Hallam, 20, of Lehi, admitted to luring the 19-year-old girl to the basement of their apartment complex by telling her he had a present for her.  According to the Deseret News, the girl tried to "ellude" her home teacher, presumably feeling uncomfortable with him, but he waited outside her apartment until she came home.  When she arrived, Hallam told her he had set up a scavenger hunt for her in the basement laundry room. 

     When the two got to the basement, Hallam attacked the girl with a stun gun and tried to handcuff her when she fell.  The girl bit his finger, and Hallam then told her it was only an April Fool's Day joke.  He hid the stun gun and handcuffs from police, leading to the charge of obstruction of justice.

     Hallam was "dismissed" from BYU in April according to the Daily Universe, and Judge Christine Johnson of the Fourth District Court in American Fork  ordered him to return to the court in September for sentencing.

     When the story first broke in April, it was absent from the Daily Universe for quiet some time.  One can speculate that the faculty in charge of BYU's student paper were being overly cautious following the fallout of "BYUSA-gate", but this story is news, and it needs to be covered. 

     This Tuesday, the story of Hallam pleading guilty was on the front page.  Although it is a negative story, and it casts a former BYU student in a bad light, it's important that BYU students are aware that dangers like this exist, even in Happy Valley.  I was disappointed however, that the fact that Hallam was this girl's home teacher was left out.

     Home teaching is an amazing program of the Church that provides opportunities for service as well as spiritual and temporal help for members of a ward.  The vast majority of relationships forged through home teaching are positive but, there are examples of unhealthy relationships.  Although these are far and few between, women need to be aware of them.  I don't care if a guy is your home teacher or the Elder's Quorum President, or a former AP, if you feel uncomfortable about something, say no.  If you have a creeper for a home teacher, don't feel bad about asking to be reassigned.

     Happy Valley is, for the most part, a happy place.  Most people are good people you can trust.  Most people won't try to taze and handcuff you.  Still, there are the few exceptions, and students need to always be vigilant and be willing to bite a few fingers if their safety demands it.


Anonymous said...

The more stories I hear about young girls being attacked at BYU the more I think how people need to stop using, 'Oh it's Provo, everything is fine in Provo!' as a justification for anything that might hint at something shady. Also, might I add a suggestion to spell check and proof read, please?! This article is already painful in its subject, your spelling need not make it moreso.

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