Repeat Sex Offender in Utah

A Provo man who was arrested for multiple sexual charges against a young child turned out to be a repeat sex offender, registered both times in the state of Utah.

Sexual abuse of a child

Photo by: Victor

Photo by: Victor

56 year old Roger Lowell Falkner of Provo Utah was arrested after a young child came forward and told police Falkner had sexually abused her. When confronted with the charges, Falkner verified everything the little girl had told police and was booked into the Utah County Jail on multiple charges.

Repeat sex offender

This incident was not the first time Falkner had been charged with sexual offenses; in fact, Falkner was a convicted repeat sex offender in the state of Utah. According to Family Watchdog, his first conviction was in December of 1992 for second degree felony sexual abuse of a child. Nearly 13 years later in September of 2005, he was convicted of third degree attempted forcible sexual abuse. Now 12 years later he faces a first degree felony for sodomy on a child; three second degree felonies for sexual abuse of a child, dealing harmful material to a minor, and exploitation of a minor; he also faces a third degree felony for lewdness.

Recidivism rate of sex offenders

Repeat Sex Offender

Photo by: Ken Teegardin

Regrettably, there are times when a person convicted of a sex crime is not successfully rehabilitated and becomes a repeat sex offender with new sexual charges against them. Fortunately, a document put forth by the Utah Department of Corrections & Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice in 2010 portrays that repeat offenders, or recidivism, isn’t as common as people think. Although the number of sex offenders under the watch of the Department of Corrections has continued to increase over the years, most of those who are arrested after being released are arrested because of “technical violations of the conditions of parole, not new criminal behavior”.

Sex offender treatment programs

The Utah Department of Corrections notes that strict probation as well as the state of Utah’s sex offender program is to thank for the lower rate of repeat offenders. They shared the results of a study conducted over the course of up to 26 years of “388 offenders of a felony sex offense who were treated in the Bonneville Community Corrections Center program between 1979 and 1994, [including] both successful program completers and failures” and indicated that “83% of the offenders had no new criminal convictions during the entire follow-up period. “ The UDC document then went on to proclaim that “successful completers of treatment were significantly less likely to have any form of recidivism that those who failed- successful treatment completers had a 26% lower recidivism rate than non-completers. If the treatment programs are so successful, why would someone such as Roger Falkner continue on to be repeat sex offender?

Program funding

Photo by: Kevin Cortopassi

Photo by: Kevin Cortopassi

Sadly, for a program that has been proven to work to rehabilitate sex offenders, it has not received the funding needed to keep up with the demand. Regardless of inflation, the sex offender treatment program in Utah hasn’t seen an increase in funding for over twenty years. Instead, they have lost one of their major facilities to house inmates who are incarcerated for sexual offenses and awaiting the program. Now, those convicted of a sexual offense are dispersed among the prison population while they sit on waiting list pending treatment. Hopefully they will be able to receive the help they need before their time is served and they are back in the community. Although there has been no news of increased funding for the sex offender treatment programs, there are changes being made to fix the program so it is more effective for those inmates who are participating. Perhaps these changes will help reduce another person like Falkner from becoming a repeat sex offender and ruining a victim’s life as well as their own. For more information on charges for sexual offenses or for defense and treatment options for a repeat sex offender, contact a criminal defense attorney.

Man Fleeing From Police Drives Stolen Vehicle 70 Miles with Only One Tire

A 33 year old Mesa Arizona man was arrested in Beaver Utah for fleeing from police after he drove a stolen vehicle for 70 miles with only tire left.

No plans on stopping

Photo by: Scott Davidson

Photo by: Scott Davidson

33 year old Matthew Hazenberg crossed over the Utah border from Arizona in the stolen vehicle and was immediately pursued by Utah Highway Patrol. When Hazenberg failed to stop for UHP and continued to drive north on I-15, officers laid out spike strips to end the pursuit. Even after having both left tires and the front right tire spiked, Hazenberg continued on I-15 for 70 long, pavement damaging miles. Hazenberg will likely face charges of vehicle theft and fleeing from police.

Repeat offender

This wasn’t Hazenberg’s first run in with the law. In April 2015, Hazenberg was arrested in Moses Lake Washington for fleeing from police after he fled in his vehicle, then from his vehicle, leaving his 8 year old step-daughter alone in the back seat. Moses Lake police were trying to locate the 8 year old, who had been reported missing by her mother when they located Hazenberg’s vehicle and were led in a brief chase. Hazenberg then bolted from the car, and was found later at his home.

Fleeing from police is a felony

Anytime a police officer requests a driver to pull their car over, they are obligated to do so, or they may face a 3rd degree felony. Utah code 41-6a-210 states: “An operator who receives a visual or audible signal from a peace officer to bring the vehicle to a stop may not: operate the vehicle in willful or wanton disregard of the signal so as to interfere with or endanger the operation of any vehicle or person; or attempt to flee or elude a peace officer by vehicle or other means.” For more information on laws regarding stopping a vehicle for police officers, contact a criminal defense attorney.