Utah Man Arrested for Several Sexual Crimes Against Children

A Grantsville, Utah man was arrested for several felony charges of sexual crimes against children.

Trusted neighbor

Sexual Crimes against Children

Photo by: Keith Allison

48 year old Mark A. Swan was arrested for 37 sexual crimes against children after three children in his neighborhood came forward alerting their parents and authorities to the incidents. Two of the children stated Swain had tried to force them to touch his genitals while another child described multiple occasions of rape and sodomy. That child, who is said to have been on the autism spectrum, also told police he had viewed pornography with Swan and that Swan had created his own pornographic videos while abusing the child. Since Swan’s arrest, several other families with children in the same neighborhood have reached out to police regarding other potential incidents of sexual abuse by Swan.

Sexual crimes against children

Swan was booked into the Tooele County Jail where he is being held without bail as he is seen as a high risk to the community. He is currently facing 37 crimes against children, most of which are felonies. Swan was charged with:

  • 10 counts of rape of a child, first degree felonies as stated in Utah Code 76-5-402.1;
  • 10 counts of sodomy of a child, also first degree felonies (76-5-403.1);
  • 10 counts of object rape of a child, more first degree felonies (76-5-402.3);
  • 3 counts of lewdness involving a child, a class A misdemeanor (76-9-702.5);
  • 2 counts of sexual abuse of a child, second degree felonies (76-5-404.1);
  • 1 count of unlawful detention of a minor, a class B misdemeanor (76-5-304); and
  • 1 count of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second degree felony for as section 76-5b-201 states is ‘when the person knowingly produces, possesses, or possesses with intent to distribute child pornography; or intentionally distributes or views child pornography” or the charge could be a first degree felony “if the person produces original child pornography depicting a first degree felony that involves . . . the person engaging in [felony sexual crimes against children].”

Treatment while incarcerated

If Swan is found guilty of any of the felony sexual crimes against children, he could be facing many years behind bars. If incarcerated, hopefully he will be able to attend a sex offender treatment program offered by the Department of Corrections. Such programs help offenders make “lasting changes” such as:
“• Acceptance of responsibility
• General empathy
• Empathy for victim(s)
• Pro–social attitudes
• Adequate coping skills/styles
• Adequate social skills
• Positive self-esteem
• Control over impulses
• Good emotional regulation
• Control over anger/aggression
• Control over substance abuse
• Normative sexual views/interests
• Understanding of risk factors
• Quality of self-management plans
• Quality of supports
• Quality of release plans
• Commitment to maintenance”

Waiting for treatment

According to the Department of Corrections, Nearly one-third of the inmates in Utah’s prison system are serving time for a sexual offense.” While there are quality programs in place to help these inmates, it can be difficult for an inmate seeking treatment to find an opening in the program. On their website the DOC states “Due to a demand coupled with a lack of resources, the Department has to be selective and work only with offenders who are adequately committed to genuine change through a process of investment, observation, assessment and confrontation that helps them build accountability while developing respect for everyone — including themselves.” Once someone is approved for the program, they still must wait for an available spot to open in the program. Some inmates have waited years to begin their treatment.

Legal counsel plus education and treatment

Anyone facing sexual crimes against children is encouraged to seek all educational resources available. While those who are incarcerated must wait for the Sex Offender Treatment Program through the Utah State Prison, those on the outside can find help through other resources as listed by the Department of Corrections here.


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