NORMAN, Okla. — A member of the high counsel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, according to church members, was removed from his position amid allegations of lewd acts with a child.
“The initial feeling was just disbelief,” Jordan Wareham told News 4.
Wareham, who grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Norman, spoke about accusations against a former church leader, 64-year-old Matthew Hack.
Four counts of lewd acts to a child and one count of oral sodomy were filed in Cleveland County on Thursday.
“It’s every parent’s nightmare to hear that something’s happened to their child,” Wareham, a good friend of the victim’s parents, said.
The six-year-old victim was “visibly upset and crying when her mother brought her in to be interviewed,” according to the probable cause affidavit.
Wareham said once the church learned of the allegations against Hack, he was removed from his position on the church’s high counsel.
“It’s my understanding that they also filed a third party lawsuit to go along with it,” Wareham said.
News 4 went to the church to get more information on the alleged lawsuit, but the doors were locked and no one answered our calls.
Hack denied touching the victim and told investigators he doesn’t know where the allegations are coming from, according to the affidavit.
However, investigators said they found that probable cause exists to support the crime of lewd acts, according to the affidavit.
“This is something no child should ever have to go through and they deserve justice as much as everybody else,” Wareham told News 4.
Hack will be in court in Cleveland County on October 29 at 9 a.m. for a preliminary conference hearing.