Utah Man Arrested for Exploiting Prostitution

A Utah man was arrested for exploiting prostitution during a human trafficking sting over the weekend in Salt Lake County.

The Pimp

Photo by: Ken

According to a bookings report from the Salt Lake County Jail, 28 year old Roger Dewayne Jessop was arrested on Friday for exploiting prostitution, a third degree felony. Police reports state Jessop was arrested at a hotel after an undercover agent arrived to an arranged meeting with a prostitute and observed that Jessop was the one running the show, causing the female prostitute to offer sex in exchange for money.

Exploiting prostitution

Utah Code 76-10-1305 states: “A person is guilty of exploiting prostitution is the person;

a) Procures a person for a place of prostitution;
b) Encourages, induces, or otherwise purposely causes another to become or remain a prostitute;
c) Transports a person into or within this state with a purpose to promote that person’s engaging in prostitution or procuring or paying for transportation with that purpose;
d) Not being a child or legal dependent of a prostitute, shares the proceeds of prostitution with a prostitute pursuant to their understanding that he is to share therein; or
e) Owns, controls, manages, supervises, or otherwise keeps, alone or in association with another, a place or prostitution or a business where prostitution occurs or is arranged, encouraged, supported, or promoted.”

Sexual solicitation or sex trafficking

Photo by: DualD FlipFlop

Those who “offer or agree to commit any sexual activity with another person for a fee ( . . . )“ are guilty of sexual solicitation, a class B misdemeanor. These charges do not apply if the person offering sex is a victim and doing said acts against their will. It wasn’t noted the age of the prostitute being pimped out by Jessop or whether or not she was a willing participant, however multiple female victims of human trafficking were noted as being rescued during the operation in Salt Lake County. To report information on a possible situation of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. For legal aid regarding prostitution charges contact a criminal defense attorney.

 

Vacationers Urged to Use Caution When House Swapping

House swapping is increasing in popularity among vacationers throughout Utah and the world yet homeowners are being urged to use caution before listing their home on a home exchange website.

Pros and cons of a hotel stay

Photo by: Hamzu Butt

Part of a good vacation is staying someplace in an upscale part of town that is clean and preferably inexpensive. When it comes to hotels, the clean and centrally located ones are usually priced accordingly and the cheaper rooms can often be filthy or in a questionable neighborhood. Those who are wanting a vacation away from home have another option to look forward to known as house swapping.

House swapping

Photo by: Mary Greathead

House swapping takes place when a person or family temporarily trades homes with another through one of the various online companies such as Airbnb, HomeExchange, and LoveHomeSwap. House swapping can occur with primary homes and apartments as well as second homes or cabins. The individual lists their home with pictures, location, price, and availability while also browsing homes in their chosen vacation destination. Once they have found temporary “renters” as well as a place to stay on their vacation, the swap is complete and the escape from ordinary life begins.

Not as glamorous as it seems

While movies in Hollywood have portrayed house swapping as a magical experience that may even end in unexpected romance, real-life house swapping doesn’t always have a happy ending. Some horror stories from house swapping including problems with the vacation home, such as:

Photo by: Abril Rubio

• Booking a dump. A picture says a thousand words but can also leave out a lot of detail if things are staged just right. Many house swappers arrive to find their temporary abode not up to par. Incidents have occurred that include leaking roofs, missing furniture, bug infestations, and even utilities being shut off. Most of the complaints however include dissatisfaction on the cleanliness of the swapped house. This is common as most families do not have a personal maid to ensure the home is hotel clean.

• Pets. House swapping really means life swapping. This includes beds, toys, food, vehicles, and even the family dog.

Photo by: Tristan Ferne

It is encouraged to research a vacation home fully and be informed on whether or not there are pets in the home and what type of care they need. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if Fido needs to be walked daily and loves snuggling any human in existence.

• Change of plans. Unfortunately, sometimes plans change suddenly which can include not having the vacation home available during the scheduled dates. While this doesn’t occur on a regular basis, it is something that should be planned for just in case.

Trouble at home

Other problems that can arise with house swapping take place on the home front. Issues that have been reported include:

Photo by: Antti T. Nissinen

• Vandalism. Not all house swappers take care of their vacation home. Some swappers may leave things messy while others may leave items broken and needing repair. There is always a risk of a bad renter, which is why it is important to get to know the other house swapper in advance and read their prior reviews carefully.

• Insurance coverage. Before making the swap, ensure that you and your guests are covered. This includes vehicle coverage as well as home owners or rental insurance. House swapping may not be covered so it is vital to find out for sure before making the trade.

Photo by: Quinn Dombrowski

Prostitution. What does a pimp love more than a cheap hotel to work his girls out of? A cheaper home that isn’t monitored by hotel employees or authorities. This may seem like a rarity but in fact it has been reported several times nationwide. Someone in the sexual solicitation business poses as a prospective house swapper and with a little bit of acting, sells a family on letting the “nice couple” rent the house for a week or more. For the entirety of the swap, the family home has a revolving door to the coming and goings of random “Johns”, and the family is left feeling violated and uncomfortable returning to their own home.

Not for everyone

House swapping is not for everyone but for those who wish to give it a try, there are always risks involved. Home exchange companies encourage clients to get to know the other families and do plenty of research prior to a swap. If criminal activity such as prostitution or drugs takes place in a home while the owners are vacationing elsewhere, it is wise for them to inquire with an attorney upon their return about any possible legal backlash of the house swapping gone wrong.

Sentencing Entrapment and Manipulation

Sentencing entrapment and manipulation are both claims of injustice that can be made by a defendant during sentencing if they feel they were encouraged to commit a serious crime by authorities or if they committed or are facing a higher sentence than necessary.

Sentencing entrapment & manipulation

Sentencing Entrapment

Photo by: Matt Lord

According to the case of Leech v. State, “Sentencing entrapment is said to occur when the State causes a defendant initially predisposed to commit a lesser crime to commit a more serious offense.” Sentencing manipulation on the other hand is defined as “when the government engages in improper conduct that has the effect of increasing a defendant’s sentence.” (United States v Garcia). Although Sentencing entrapment and sentencing manipulation have slightly different meanings, they are often used interchangeably in court.

Drug busts

Sentencing entrapment and manipulation can occur during organized stings or through the encouragement or persuasion of an officer or informant. All too often these cases of inflating offenses involve drugs. When drugs are involved, there are several ways in which a simple drug charged could be blown up to become something more.

• An undercover agent may know a suspect is a known drug user but not a dealer. By asking the suspect to sell drugs to the undercover officer, he can then be charged with not only possession but also distribution.

• The same bloating of charges can occur if someone sells narcotics and the agent asks the suspect to sell more to have them reach a distribution amount that carries higher penalties.

• In the case of Unites States v. Walls, the undercover DEA agent asked the suspect to supply him with crack and was given powdered cocaine instead. After insisting that he wanted crack and not cocaine, the suspect then complied and had it cooked by a third party. When asked in court why the DEA agent requested crack from the suspect and not cocaine, the agent’s reply was: “Well, crack cocaine is less expensive than [powder] cocaine, and we felt like through our investigation, that it takes fifty grams of crack cocaine to get any target over the mandatory ten years.”

Prostitution

Photo by: Nils Hamerlinck

Prostitution is another common area where sentencing entrapment and manipulation arise frequently; such was the case of Taylor Hummel of southern Utah. Hummel was actively soliciting sex from adults, but through his internet ad and other communication he never stated he wanted children involved. The undercover agent offered prostitution services to which Hummel agreed. The agent then offered a 13 year old girl to be involved with the sexual exploits as well. Hummel was hesitant but did not decline. When the time for the exchange took place, Hummel mentioned he had reservations about a minor being involved and did not pay for sexual services from her. Although he only sought and paid for adult prostitution (Class B misdemeanor) he was still charged with conspiracy to commit child rape (a first degree felony). Had the offer not been made by an undercover agent, Hummel may never have even thought of including minors in his sexual addictions.

The Big Fish story

For whatever reason or hidden agenda, sometimes the crime that a suspect is recognized as being guilty of is not sufficient. It is then that sentencing entrapment and manipulation occurs by officers who wish to create a more serious offense to snare the suspect with. There are several theories as to why police officers would want to be involved in sentencing entrapment.

• Acknowledgement or a pat on the back from their department and the public if the officer helps bring in a serious offender, or “the big fish”;

• The not-talked-about “quotas” that they are unofficially expected to meet;

• Increased chance of promotions or even incentives such as bonuses for making a certain type of arrest; or possibly

• Overtime pay. Many precincts give their officers overtime pay if they are forced to work past their shift in order to complete the arrest and the paperwork that follows. Additionally, overtime pay is often given to law enforcement to be present or even on-call during a court hearing that results from an arrest.

Outrageous official conduct

Photo by: Martin Fisch

Sentencing entrapment and manipulation has been referred to as “outrageous official conduct [that] overcomes the will of an individual” (United States v Jacobsen). In many cases, if officers would have refrained from getting involved to expand a crime or not created a major illegal opportunity to entrap someone in, that person may have gone on to never committing that crime in their lifetime. Instead, many victims of sentencing entrapment and manipulation will spend a lifetime in jail for the inflated offenses.

Legal counsel

Anyone who is facing charges where they feel law enforcement used entrapment or manipulation to increase their possible sentencing is encouraged to seek legal counsel. If someone has committed a crime, they should only have to face those crimes in court, not the top sentencing, inflated version of it.