Utah College Student Arrested on Campus for Prostitution

A Utah college student was arrested for prostitution over the weekend at her campus dorm room.

Struggling student?

Prostitution

Photo by: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

18 year old Ramajeh Marie Patrick who lives on Dixie State University campus in student housing was arrested March 10th 2017 after a lengthy investigation by campus police. There had been reports of multiple middle aged men seen on campus security footage wandering around campus after hours before ending up in Patrick’s dorm room. During the investigation, an online ad was located in which Patrick advertised prostitution. An undercover officer posed as a John and met Patrick at her dorm room, where she was then arrested by officers on scene for prostitution as well as running a massage business without a license.

Prostitution

Utah Code 76-10-1313 states “A person is guilty of sexual solicitation [prostitution] when the person:
a) Offers or agrees to commit any sexual activity with another person for a fee, or the functional equivalent of a fee;
b) Pays or offers or agrees to pay a fee to another person to commit any sexual activity; or
c) With intent to engage in sexual activity for a fee or to pay another person to commit any sexual activity for a fee engages in, offers or agrees to engage in, or requests of directs another to engage in any of the following acts:
i. Exposure of a person’s genitals, the buttocks, the anus, the pubic area, or the female breast below the top of the areola;
ii. Masturbation;
iii. Touching of a person’s genitals, the buttocks, the anus, the pubic area, or the female breast; or
iv. Any act of lewdness. ( . . . )”

Penalties-expected and unexpected

Photo by: Klaus Pichler

Photo by: Klaus Pichler

Prostitution is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1000 dollar fine. Strangely enough, the charge Patrick is facing for giving massages is considered a greater offense. Running a massage business without a license is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a full year in jail and a $2,500 fine; More than double the jail term and fine amount possible for prostitution. The details released of the investigation do not include whether or not Patrick was even being investigated for running a massage business, but she confessed to it as well as prostitution when she was being questioned by campus police. Unfortunately, Patrick’s case is another good example of why it is always best to consult with a criminal defense attorney before admitting to anything.

Employment Consequences Following an Arrest in Utah

Having a felony criminal record can have devastating consequences for Utah residents when it comes to finding housing and work, however even a minor arrest can result in undesirable consequences to one’s employment.

An arrest is public record

Employment After Arrest

Photo by: Dylan

When an arrest takes place, that information can instantly become public knowledge. The arrestee’s information along with facts related to the crime may be logged on a bookings page with the county sheriff or a small blurb may be written in the incident section of the local newspaper. Often this embarrassing publicity can go undetected by employers or coworkers of the person arrested. If it is noticed, which is often the result of increased coverage by the media for being a “bigger story”, it can quickly spread around the office, making the workplace unwelcoming for the defendant.

Returning to work

Returning to a place of employment following a night or two in jail should not result in anything more than awkward sideways glances from coworkers. If the arrest occurs due to illegal behavior at work however, the accused will likely be put on temporary administrative leave before being permanently terminated if or when convicted. If the arrest takes place off the clock, in a setting not remotely connected to a person’s employment, an employer is usually discouraged from releasing an employee from his job. If not, they could be in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Know your employment rights

Photo by: aj victorio

Photo by: aj victorio

For individuals who were recently arrested and are worried about the effects it will have on their career, it is important to know first what rights employees in the State of Utah have. According to the Utah Labor Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity commission regarding Title VII, employees are protected from job related discrimination following an arrest. Aside from actual convictions, especially those including felonies, an arrest cannot be used as the basis of terminating employment. As the EEOC states, “The fact of an arrest does not establish that criminal conduct has occurred. Arrests are not proof of criminal conduct. Many arrests do not result in criminal charges, or the charges are dismissed. Even if an individual is charged and subsequently prosecuted, he is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.” The EEOC adds however, that “although an arrest record standing alone may not be used to deny an employment opportunity, an employer may make an employment decision based on the conduct underlying the arrest if the conduct makes the individual unfit for the position in question. The conduct, not the arrest, is relevant for employment purposes.”

When an arrest is still used against an employee

Just because an employer cannot safely fire one of their employees based on an arrest, it doesn’t mean they won’t find other ways to punish the arrested employee. In fact, if an employer is unhappy about the arrest of their employee, and they were previously lenient about certain rules and codes of conduct related to the job description, they may increase enforcement of those rules without as much risk of retaliation from the employee. This may be the employer’s way of trying to encourage the arrestee to quit, by ensuring the workplace isn’t as enjoyable as before. Although an employee can attempt to press charges or wait for the ill feelings to eventually dissipate, some take the easier way out by finding another job where their dirty laundry isn’t known by all.

Protect your record, protect your employment

Photo by: kate hiscock

Photo by: kate hiscock

Most employers in Utah are kind and understanding following an arrest. This is particularly true if the defendant is eventually found to be innocent of all charges. The ideal way to protect your employment following an arrest is to protect your record. With any arrest, contact a criminal defense attorney to give you a better chance of walking away with a clean record and job security.

Felony Charges for Aiding and Abetting in Poaching Crime

Helping a couple friends with an illegal activity usually comes at a cost, as one Utah politician learned the hard way as he now faces felony charges for aiding and abetting in a poaching crime.

Permission to hunt on land illegally

Earlier this month, the mayor of Hurricane Utah was arrested for aiding and abetting after he allowed a couple friends to hunt protected mule deer on his land. Although Mayor John Bramall was not stated to be an active participant in the hunt, he knowingly allowed the men to hunt the deer on his land, an act the state of Utah claims to be aiding and abetting in the wonton destruction of protected wildlife.

Aiding and abetting a poaching crime

Utah Code 23-20-23 of the Wildlife Resources Code of Utah states: “It is unlawful for any person to aid or assist any other person to violate any provisions of this code or any rules or regulations promulgated under it. The penalty for violating this section is the same as for the provision or regulation for which aid or assistance is given.” For aiding and abetting with a poaching crime, Mayor Bramall will face the same charges as if he were the one who had pulled the trigger.

Two deer, two charges

Since there were two deer killed unlawfully, there are two different charges for Mayor Bramall to face. The value of the smaller deer was between $250 and $500, which according to Utah Code 23-20-4 would make the poaching of said deer a class A misdemeanor. The larger trophy deer was valued at more than $500, which is punishable as a third degree felony. The mayor of Hurricane, whose term isn’t up until 2018, may face up to five years in jail for essentially looking the other way while a crime was committed on his property.