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Illegal Sex Crime Sting Operations in Utah

Updated: Apr 24, 2019



Our criminal defense team of lawyers recently represented a young woman who was caught up in a sex sting in the state of Utah. The woman fell prey to a sting conducted in a massage parlor in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a criminal defense attorney I have represented dozens of clients busted in these types of stings in Utah over the years. This one, however, was unique. My client, who I we’ll call Suzie, was arrested for allegedly agreeing to provide an undercover cop with what vice squad members call a happy ending. Suzie was subsequently arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for sexual solicitation. What makes this case distinct from other cases handled by our criminal defense team in Utah is that the undercover cop disclosed, in his written report, that he initiated the unlawful contact (not in those words). He reports that he reached around Suzie and groped her buttocks, and disrobed himself, thereby displaying his genitals. According to the officer’s report, any alleged criminal conduct on Suzie’s part took place after the officer’s admitted inappropriate conduct.

In light of this cop’s revelations our criminal defense team challenged the conduct of the vice squad on every level. In the process of defending the case our defense team discovered that the prostitution vice squad operating in Salt Lake City has some very disturbing practices. Consider the following:

1. Prostitution stings are carried out under audio surveillance which the vice squad elects to not record.

2. The undercover officer in Suzie’s case testified under oath in one of our hearings that he is allowed to initiate touch anywhere on a massage therapists body except her genitals. He testified that he learned this from “on-the-job” training.

3. This group of Salt Lake undercover officers conducting sting operations enter massage parlors under fictitious names to protect their identity.

Utahns would be up in arms were these conditions publicly known. Of concern is the risk that a sting may go wrong as the undercover cop exposes himself in an illegal and lewd manner and the therapist does not yield to the officer’s sexual enticement. Perhaps worse, suppose the officer touches the therapist upon her buttocks or breasts and she does not yield to his enticement. How would one of these scenarios play out to a conclusion? The officer has obviously committed a serious crime against the therapist. Recall that this Salt Lake area vice squad has elected to not record the happenings that are under audio surveillance. Also, consider that the perpetrating undercover officer is operating under a fictitious name. What do you suppose would happen if the therapist, now victim, called 911 to report that some pervert just groped her and displayed his genitals? I know what they do to non-cops that engage in such conduct: I defend them against lewdness and sexual assault charges.

Undercover cops, however, are insulated from prosecution by the factors listed above. If an operation went bad, the victim would be calling in a report of a fictitiously-named person assaulting her. There would be no record of the incident with the vice squad (not recorded) and I highly doubt that vice cops would turn themselves, or their buddies in for such misconduct. If there were a risk of one of these undercover cops being detected for committing a sex crime on a massage therapist, think of the self-preservation incentive for him to lie about what really happened, and for his vice squad buddies to lie as well.

This issue is yet to come to a head since the sexual solicitation charge in Suzie’s case was dismissed. However, our criminal defense team is constantly on the lookout for similar cases so that we can pick up where we left off in exposing the unethical practices of such sex crime vice squads in Utah.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Call Zabriskie Law Firm Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City for a free case evaluation. You can learn more about our criminal lawyer in salt lake city in the different areas of practice that we handle in criminal defense lawyers in Salt Lake City. Select one of the categories below to find out more information about your type of case and what our attorneys can do for you, or scroll down to learn more about our other criminal defense services. When you work with a Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer from our firm, you can breathe easier knowing that we will be willing to go the distance in our efforts to help you fight for your desirable result. At Zabriskie Law Firm, we will fight aggressively for your case to get you the best possible verdict. As one of the most recognized DUI lawyers in Salt Lake City, Utah, we have a proven track record for dismissing or reducing the penalties in a Salt Lake City DUI defense cases. Our DUI lawyers in Salt Lake City have obtained positive outcomes in hundreds of cases for a misdemeanor or felony DUI charges and are prepared for the aggressive approach necessary to win your case. We have decades of experience in protecting the rights of Salt Lake City, Provo, Boise and Denver residents. Contact us today so we can begin preparing an effective Salt Lake City DUI case on your behalf. When choosing a criminal defense attorney Salt Lake City to help you with your claim, it is wise to review what they can do for you. At the Zabriskie Law Firm, we have decades of combined legal experience, having helped hundreds of people successfully win their cases. Our legal team has successfully obtained compensation for clients in many areas of personal injury, including those involving serious car accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents, including distracted driving accidents and DUI defense attorney Salt Lake City.

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