Former Utah Teacher Convicted of Sexual Abuse of a Student Arrested for Probation Violation

A former Utah teacher convicted of sexual abuse of a student was arrested this month for probation violation as well as charges of drug distribution.

Drug distribution charges

29 year old Sarah Lindsay Lewis, a former Spanish Fork high school teacher arrested last year for unlawful sexual activity with a minor was arrested again; this time for dealing methamphetamine out of her car. Earlier this month, Lewis was apprehended by the Major Crimes Task Force with drug paraphernalia and enough methamphetamine to generate distribution charges.

Probation violation

Lewis was previously arrested in January 2017 for unlawful sexual activity with one of her students at a high school in Spanish Fork, Utah. Although she is not facing additional sex abuse charges, she was found to be in violation of her probation and sentenced to three days in jail. According to the Utah Department of Corrections all probationers, regardless of what previous crime they were convicted of, are to abide by the standard conditions of probation which include:

• Permitting visits to home, work, and elsewhere;
• Report as directed and stay in Utah and at established residence if ordered to do so;
• Obey all laws;
• Not possess any weapons;
• Permit searches;
• Not associate with others involved in criminal activity;
• Obtain and maintain employment;
• Be cooperative and honest with AP&P;
• Pay supervision fee;
• Submit DNA;
• Comply with curfew;
• Comply with Case Action Plan; and
• “Abstain from the illegal use, possession, control, delivery, production, manufacture or distribution of controlled substances (58-37-2 U.C.A) and submit to tests of breath or body fluids to ensure compliance with the Probation Agreement.”

Penalties for violating probation

There are additional conditions that are added for those convicted of gang related crimes or sex offenses, but the standard conditions apply to all probationers. Those who violate the conditions of their probation may face immediate arrest and a hearing where their probation may be “revoked, modified, continued, or reinstated for all or a portion of the original term” as stated by Utah Code 77-18-1. Those facing probation violations are encouraged to obtain legal defense counsel prior to this hearing where the fate of their probation is decided.

Penalties Increased for Killing a Police Dog

A new bill sponsored by Sen. Jani Iwamoto and Rep. Lowry V. Snow was put into effect this month, increases penalties for individuals who are charged with killing a police dog.

Dangerous job

Photo by: Michael

Police dogs have many jobs including detection of drugs or explosives, search and rescue, and apprehension of subjects on the run. Like other officers, their job is dangerous and can often result in death. This year alone, five police dogs have lost their lives – three of those while in the line of duty. In 2017, 24 canine officers were killed with one of those being a beloved member of the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake. Canine police service dog Dingo was killed in July 2017 while trying to apprehend a suspect on the run. The fugitive, 28 year old Torey Massey fired multiple shots at Dingo which later resulted in the death of the police dog. The following month in Washington County, another police dog was shot in the head by a subject attempting to flee police. Unlike K9 officer Dingo, K9 officer Tess miraculously survived.

Killing a police officer

Police dogs face similar dangers that their human partners do while attempting to apprehend dangerous subjects, yet the consequences of taking a police dog’s life have been drastically lenient than those consequences of causing the death of a human police officer. Killing a police officer is considered aggravated murder by Utah law which could land the person responsible in prison for life or even facing the death penalty. Killing a police dog however would result in a third degree felony, the same penalty an individual may face for selling marijuana. A new bill that was recently put into effect in Utah has now increased the penalties for those charged with killing a canine officer.

SB0057 – Causing the death of a canine officer

SB0057 was put into effect Tuesday,

Photo by: Michael

May 8th 2018 and makes drastic changes to Utah Code 76-9-306 regarding injuring or killing a police dog. While previously it was a third degree felony to kill a police dog, that section now states “It is a second degree felony for a person to intentionally or knowingly cause death to a police service canine.” A second degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, the same penalty for crimes such as robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Human lives vs animal lives

Some residents wonder why causing the death of a canine officer now comes with a stiffer penalty than if someone killed another person by driving while under the influence. There are a few reasons as to why killing a police dog would be punished more severely than drunkenly causing the death of a person.

• One major point is the intent. Section 76-9-306 states the second degree penalty is for those who “intentionally or knowingly” cause the death of a police dog. If a person “cause[s] bodily injury to a police service canine; engages in conduct likely to cause bodily injury or death to a police service canine; or lay[s] out, place[s] or administer[s] any poison, trap, substance, or object which is likely to produce bodily injury or death to a police service canine” then the person responsible would face a third degree felony-the same penalty as automobile homicide.

• Another reason why a police dog’s life may appear to carry more value than a person’s could be due to the K9’s close proximity to a human officer. Police dogs are always accompanied by their handler which means if someone shoots to kill a police dog, they are also putting the human officer at risk of serious injury or death as well. Increasing the penalties for killing a police dog may help keep other officers safe while in the line of duty.

Cooperate and consult an attorney

Running is never a recommended choice is fighting an arrest, as it can result in increased charges or safety concerns for the subject due to use of the unleashed service canine or even deadly force by law enforcement. If police officers attempt to arrest an individual it is best to be cooperative but consult legal representation before answering any questions. For more information on charges resulting from an arrest or an individual’s violent conduct towards officers or police dogs, speak to a qualified attorney immediately.

Theft Ring Busted For Robbery of ATM Machines in Utah

Multiple members of a theft ring were busted for robbery of ATM machines in Utah, almost getting away with thousands of dollars in cash.

Welcome to Utah

Photo by: Tax Credits

Authorities in Utah were closely watching 6 men of Venezuelan nationality after the group flew into Salt Lake International airport and then took separate rental cars only to meet up at a local bank together. There were then observed jackpotting multiple ATM machines in Cottonwood Heights and Sandy. Four of the men were apprehended in Utah, two later in Miami, and the other is still at large.

Jackpotting

Jackpotting is a newer crime to the United States but is quickly becoming a popular way for thieves to rob a bank without ever stepping foot inside. Jackpotting occurs when the outer casing of an ATM is either broken or a key is used to obtain access to the computer inside. The internal hard drive of the ATM machine is then removed briefly in order for the thief to install malware on it. The malware is then activated, often by an outside source which could be a higher up member in the theft ring. Once the hard drive is bugged, it is then reinstalled back into the ATM machine, allowing the thieves to breach the ATM security system and empty the machine of all of its cash.

Computer fraud and robbery

The individuals arrested for pilfering the ATM machines in Utah were booked on federal charges of computer fraud as well as robbery of a bank- the two crimes that are committed during jackpotting of an ATM. Utah has been hit by two different jackpotting rings since November of last year and it is likely this form of bank robbery will continue to increase if security measures for ATMs are not upgraded soon.