Murrieta Man Arrested for Sexual Battery on Menifee Teenagers

Story updated at 10 a.m. with statement from LDS (Mormon) church: A Murrieta man was arrested this...

Story updated at 10 a.m. with statement from LDS (Mormon) church:

A Murrieta man was arrested this week for sexual battery upon two teenage females in the Menifee area following an investigation of incidents dating back to 2006, police reported today.

Todd Mitchell Edwards, 49, was arrested after an extensive investigation by Menifee Police. It was determined Edwards committed the sexual assaults in November 2006 and February 2012. The investigation revealed the suspect was known by the victims and their families.

Edwards is accused of sexual penetration with a foreign object upon a minor, sexual battery and witness intimidation. A third victim was identified during the investigation; however, the statute of limitations prevented criminal charges from being filed.

George Kramer, a spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, confirmed that Edwards is a member of the LDS church and is a former bishop of a ward in Menifee. According to Kramer, Edwards was released as bishop when the allegations came to light. He currently holds no position in the church.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind," Kramer said. "Anyone who abuses a child is rightfully subject to both criminal prosecution and formal church discipline."

Sheriff investigators believe there may be other victims and urge them to come forward and contact law enforcement to report the crimes.

Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Investigator John Wyatt, at the Menifee Police Department by calling 951-210-1000, or PerrisStation@RiversideSheriff.org.

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  1. Wasn't this creep a Mormon bishop at the time of these crimes?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, sadly he was.

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    2. First Mormon bishop that I have seen with facial hair. 'Course the article said he was a "former" bishop.

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  2. WOW he has been a volunteer in the community for a long time, he is known by a lot of families in the Mormon church and Menifee valley Little League as a coach and board member, he has 6 children of his own, this is shocking...

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  3. Readers: We respect your right to post your reactions and opinions on subjects such as this. However, we will not allow accusations against another person of activities that have not been reported to the media by law enforcement or otherwise proven as fact. For that reason, some comments have been rejected.

    We must stick to reporting the charges as they are presented. We will, however, follow and report the resolution of this case in the courts.

    Doug Spoon
    Editor

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  4. Zero tolerance ! How come they did not turned him to the police

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    Replies
    1. How do you think the police found out about it?????

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    2. What part of that article did you read that said the church knew about it & did nothing? We must have been reading two different articles.

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    3. Did that church/leaders report anything????

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    4. Directly from the article:
      "Anyone who abuses a child is rightfully subject to both criminal prosecution and formal church discipline." - That means it is turned over to the police for criminal prosecution. No secrets are being kept here, police efforts take time. They have to do a lot of work before they can arrest someone.

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  5. The truth and the trash will come to light, just wait and see.

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  6. What a heinous crime. We all need to be aware that predators come in all genders, races and religions. There is no 'class' of people immune to it. It is wrong that there is a statute of limitations on sexual assault especially on a minor!!

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  7. This is shocking news but we must all remember he is innocent until proven guilty. Just because he has been accused and arrested doesn't mean he is guilty of such atrocities. Let this man have his day in court. Besides, there are always three sides to a story.... His side, her side, and what really happened is usually something in the middle...

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    Replies
    1. We also need to be aware that 97% of rapists don't spend time in jail. When the investigations come to this point of arrest it has already gone through intense investigation and approval through the courts to obtain an arrest warrant. Only about 3% of sexual battery reports in the United States are actually false. If you want to check the stats go to rainn.org.

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  8. This guys wife runs a daycare business in menifee right behind Wheatfield park.

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    Replies
    1. We at Menifee 24/7 can confirm that Edwards' wife runs a day care business out of her home. However, we can also confirm that the couple has been separated for about six months and he has not been living in the house during that time.

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    2. His wife is a wonderful, loving and giving person who I have known for about 16 yrs. Our children played sports together and I had the pleasure of having Ms. Edwards teach 2 of my children in her Pre-school (it is not a day-care) and am hoping to be able to have my youngest taught by her this year. She would never put any child in harms way. She is doing everything she can to help her children get through this shocking and horrific time. Please support her, her children and any others who have been harmed by this.

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    3. Kind of hard to damn the wife merely because she was married to someone who was bad, isn't it? I mean, guilt by association?

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    4. His wife is amazing and does not deserve to be looked down upon. I have been there when she was running her preschool and I would still send my kids to her preschool.

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  9. Let's also remember that this man has children of his own that are hurting over the things he was accused of. I feel just as sorry for his family as well as the girls and their families that he directly hurt. So very heartbreaking all the way around.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed! His family and friend are also victims here. Let's all pray for their strength.

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  10. His wife is a wonderfully sweet woman! And an awesome preschool teacher! My daughter attends her preschool and I plan on putting my youngest there in a couple years too. He has no access to the kids. And what he has done in no way reflects on her as a person.

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  11. As a close friend of the Edwards family I must say I am disgusted with Todd. He broke a sacred trust. Those girls have every right to their day in court, and I fully support them. They are brave and strong to come forward. His family and friends are victims too; Hopefully the community will rally around ALL the victims, which will allow those victims to move forward with their lives. If he is guilty of even a fraction of the charges, I hope he gets put in a place where he can never hurt another innocent person again!

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    Replies
    1. From another close friend of the Edwards family, very well said and I agree! Our prayers are with the victims, including Todd's family and friends.

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  12. We all need to remember such a thing as repentance and paying for sin. For those of us who are Christians, which includes Mormons, isn't that why the Savior came to earth? Even horrible crimes can be paid for, both spiritually and physically.

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  13. His wife is a victim here and so are is children. She is a wonderful woman who does much good in the community. She deserves our support and condolences. WOW, people!

    ReplyDelete

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