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LDS bishop arrested in Mesa for online conduct with minor

PHOENIX — Mesa police detectives arrested a Church of Latter-Day Saints bishop last week for allegedly having conversations of a sexual nature with a minor.

Steven Berry of the Mesa Police Department said Michael Wayne Coleman, 53, was arrested Thursday, Jan. 16, and charged with one count of luring a minor for sexual exploitation.

Mesa detectives began their investigation on Nov. 2, 2013, after being contacted about an allegation by a 16-year-old male student. The student filed a complaint after having a Facebook chat where Coleman made comments about getting a hug and kiss from the student.

Berry said detectives also discovered Coleman was having “illicit sexual conversations” with a separate 17-year-old male over the Internet. Coleman was arrested based on evidence found on his computer.

Mesa police said the investigation is ongoing and there is a potential for additional victims.

While being investigated, Coleman was the bishop of the Lehi 2nd Ward. Berry said he believes the suspect has been removed from his position with the church.