Cortney Ted Andrew booking photo from the Cache County Jail.
LOGAN — A former local leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been sentenced to 60 days in jail for sexting with a teenage girl in his congregation several years ago. Cortney Ted Andrew, a 39-year-old Trenton man, was told to report to the Cache County Jail by Saturday, after telling a judge that he was sorry for what he did.
Andrew was sentenced Monday, Jan. 22, in Logan’s 1st District Court. He previously accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to two counts of enticing a minor by internet or text, amended to a third-degree felony.
According to prosecutors, the crimes occurred between June 10 and July 14, 2021. Andrew was then reportedly serving as a counselor in the ward’s bishopric with a bishop and another counselor. The three men would oversee the operations of the congregation, including the records, finances and caring for those in need.
During the investigation, the victim told Cache County Sheriff’s detectives how she originally began communicating with Andrew to receive counseling. Andrew would text the teen girl religious advice. As the communications went on though, the texts turned inappropriate and sexually graphic.
The victim’s mother reported the actions to the bishop, who reportedly removed Andrew from his position in the ward.
Through the investigation, detectives reported that Andrew was attempting to groom the girl to have sex with him. The communications ended before the relationship became physical.
During Monday’s sentencing, defense attorney Shannon Demler said what Andrew did was “legally and morally wrong.” He asked the court for leniency though, explaining how his client was remorseful, and had no criminal history.
Andrew told the victim, he was sorry for what he did and hoped she could forgive him. He also expressed sorrow for the pain that he’d caused his family.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Joshua Nemeth said Andrew made a series of bad mistakes. He explained how the defendant used his position in the church to abuse the victim.
Judge Angela Fonnesbeck told Andrew, being a child is hard enough without having someone communicating with them like this. She said the victim didn’t deserve what the defendant did.
“People in a position of trust don’t do this to children,” Judge Fonnesbeck said angrily.
Andrew was sentenced to serve 60 days in jail with work release, followed by 24 months probation. He was also ordered to be placed on the sex-offender registry and have no contact with the victim.