The LA times reported an Orange County teacher accused of being sexually involved with one of her students. Band teacher, Carlie Atterbury was accused of having a sexual relationship with one of her 15 year old students for over a year. Prosecutors said that “The two regularly met at Attebury’s home and exchanged sexually explicit text messages”.  Atterbury is being tried January 2011.

 What does this mean for Utah? Just because our school districts are populous, juveniles beware of sexual relations with a school teacher.

In recent weeks, Salt Lake and Davis counties have had a rash of incidents involving one of more flashers. Earlier this week, Farmington Police arrested a 34 year old Layton man believed to have exposed himself to 10 women. According to police the man said it was a “turn on and a thrill for him” to expose himself. Police are unable to determine at this time if this is the same person connected to reports of a nude man in the Mill Creek Canyon area.

In Utah, a person is guilty of Lewdenss if he or she commits a sexual act in front of another in public which does not amount to rape, object rape, forcible sodomy, forcible sexual abuse, aggravated sexual assault or an attempt to commit such offenses in a public place or under circumstances which the person should know will likely cause affront or alarm to, on, or in the presence of another who is 14 years of age or older. It includes acts such as sodomy or sexual intercourse, exposing the private areas of the body, masturbating, and other acts which could be considered “lewd” by a reasonable person.

It is a class B misdemeanor if this a first or second offense however it is a third degree felony if convicted of lewdness two or more times or if you are a convicted sex offender. If the act is committed in from of a child (someone under 14 years of age) then it is a class A misdemeanor. Here in Utah, public breastfeeding is exempt from  lewdness statutes even if some area of the breast is exposed.

If you have been charged with an offense which may violate public decency laws contact an attorney for advice.

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.

The Flasher might appear to be some sort of superhero name but for Burbank, California police it is much different. Burbank police are looking for a man accused of flashing several women 3 times in Magnolia Park Neighborhood, The LA Times reports. “Police say the man whistles towards groups of women to get their attention, and then exposes himself”. Luckily for Utahns, there is no worry about the notorious Burbank flasher but there still might be one in store from a MARVEL comic book.

(1)   A person is guilty of sexual exploitation of a minor:

     (a) when he knowingly produces, distributes, possesses, or possesses with intent to distribute material or a live performance depicting:

          (i) a nude or partially nude minor for the purpose of causing sexual arousal of any person; or

         (ii) any minor’s engagement in sexual conduct alone or with another person; or

     (b)  if he is a minor’s parent or legal guardian and knowingly consents to or permits that minor to be sexually exploited under Subsection (1)(a) above.

(2) Sexual exploitation of a minor is a felony of the second degree

(3) It is a separate offense under this section:

     (a) For each minor depicted, an dif more than one minor is depicted in the same material or live performance in violation of this section, the depiction of each individual minor or the material or live performance is a separate offense;

     (b) Each time the same minor is depicted in different material; and

     (c) Each time the same minor is depicted in a separate live performance.

Considering Utah is such a conservative state, it is quite a surprise that eight men were arrested in a Cedar City prostitution sting. The second man, Andrew Groft used to be the former president of George Wythe University in Flagstaff, Arizona but was later replaced. To make matters even a little bit more surprising for Utah’s character, Groft was the second college administrator caught in the prostitution sting.  Southern Utah University Vice President Wesley Curtis was arrested prior for involvement in the same sting. It looks like Cedar City is a lot more scandalous than we would have ever imagined. To read more click here.