In Utah, a defendant must be able to understand the nature of the charges against them, their rights and be able to participate in their own defense and if they are unable to do so because of mental illness or other mental deficiencies a defendant may be found incompetent to stand trial. Between 2% and 8% of all felony defendants in the United States are referred for competency evaluations. Here in Utah, if a defendant is found incompetent to stand trial they are committed to the executive director of the Department of Human Services to see if they can be restored to competency through treatment and/or medication. If however, competency isn’t restored and there is a substantial probability that the defendant will not become competent in the foreseeable future the court must release the defendant from the custody of the director unless the court is informed of civil commitment proceedings.
Such is the case for a Utah man who in 2007 was charged with rape, sodomy and aggravated sexual abuse of a child. Lonnie Johnson was declared incompetent to stand trial after numerous competency evaluations and has been held at the Utah State Hospital since 2008. In April 2011 Mr. Johnson was released by a 4th District Court Judge who had no legal basis for continuing to hold him based on a doctor’s report that it was unlikely that he would ever regain competency. Prosecutor’s are now working to have Johnson civilly committed. If however prosecutors are unable to show that Johnson’s mental illness makes him a danger to himself or others it is possible he will be set free.

Most Utah residents are aware of the fact that prostitution is illegal in the state of Utah. Please remember that prostitution is illegal before you contact the local police to complain about the hired talent’s lack of performance. This was true for a Columbian man who complained to local police officers that one of the two prostitutes he hired, refused to give him oral sex. The man claimed that “he offered two women $60 for one of them to show him her chest and for the other to perform oral sex on him”(Columbian Tribune) but the latter event never took place. He was arrested on suspicion of patronizing prostitutes.

The Utah Police Academy (POST) may want to update their curriculum to include Assault on a Peace Officer by Dildo.   Typically we hear of people being charged with aggravated assault for threatening police with a gun, knife, or any traditional sort of a weapon. Who would threaten a police with a sex toy unless it was on an episode of Family Guy? However, this appeared to be the most logical and apparently “handy” of objects for Carolee Bildsten, 56, to threaten police with. Bildsten threatened police with a dildo after they came to her house in Illinois and is now facing a single misdemeanor of aggravated assault.  Click here for the full story.

            Picture this: One of the most violent cities in the world; violence, drugs, and kidnapping contrasted against the backdrop of a clown juggling on the street corner trying to bring a glimpse of happiness to locals.  Unfortunately for Juarez, Mexico street clown, Pedro Artega Velazquez, this scenario was his reality. Velazquez’s clowning around came to a stop when he was arrested with connection to an “alleged assault on his teenage step daughter”(click here). Juarez police, did not even wait to for Velazquez to remove his costume before taking his mug shot.  Lucky for him, nobody will see his true identity.