A 19 year old Utah missionary was sent home early and arrested for sexual extortion of a child.
Social media threats
19 year old Gabe Ryan Gilbert of South Jordan, Utah was arrested for multiple counts of sexual extortion of a child after a dark side to his social media history came to light. A 15 year old female alerted authorities after Gilbert, who was using a pseudo name, threatened to photoshop her face on nude photos of other people if she did not send him actual naked pictures of herself. A task force with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) researched these allegations of sexual extortion of a child and found evidence of several potential victims of Gilbert. When police attempted to contact Gilbert regarding these crimes, they discovered he had left a couple months after the conversation with the 15 year old to serve a mission for his church. Gilbert was sent home early from his church mission and arrested for sexual extortion of a child.
Sexual extortion of a child
Utah Code 76-5b-204 states “ An individual who is 18 years old or older commits the offense of sexual extortion if the individual:
with an intent to coerce a victim to engage in sexual contact, in sexually explicit conduct, or in simulated sexually explicit conduct, or to produce, provide, or distribute an image, video, or other recording of any individual naked or engaged in sexually explicit conduct, communicates in person or by electronic means a threat:
– To the victim’s person, property, or reputation; or
– To distribute an intimate image or video of the victim; or
knowingly causes a victim to engage in sexual contact, in sexually explicit conduct, or in simulated sexually explicit conduct, or to produce, provide, or distribute any image, video, or other recording of any individual naked or engaged in sexually explicit conduct by means of a threat:
– to the victim’s person, property, or reputation; or
– to distribute an intimate image or video of the victim.”
Sexual extortion is a third degree felony unless aggravating factors such as physical or emotional harm, the use of a weapon, or other factors listed in section 76-5b-204 occur; in that case, it would be a second degree felony. Sexual extortion of “any individual under the age of 18” is considered aggravated sexual extortion of a child and is a first degree felony.
“Anonymous” internet crimes
Many teens and young adults are under the impression that crimes that occur behind a keyboard and screen don’t “count” as much as similar crimes committed in person. Many also have a false sense of security thinking that they can successfully hide their identity online through fake names and anonymous posting. Apps such as Snapchat, Kik and Whisper all have methods for anonymity or disappearing messaging, leaving users assuming anything they say or do online is not being tracked.Teens should be warned that online crimes are punishable to the full extent of the law and anything they say or do in cyberspace can come back to haunt them. Any teens facing charges for online crimes such as sexual extortion of a child should consult immediately with a juvenile defense attorney.
The trial has been set for a Utah teen charged as an adult for shooting an 18 year old over a drug deal.
Minor drug transaction
In February 2017, 17 year old Issac NacDaniel Patton went to the home of 18 year old Tristan Mogedam to purchase marijuana. During the transaction, Patton brandished a firearm and demanded anything else Mogedam had to offer. Patton then fired several shots at Mogedam as the young drug dealer attempted to retreat inside his residence. One of those shots struck Mogedam in the back, piercing his heart. Mogedam was later pronounced dead.
The sale of marijuana between the 17 and 18 year old was a minor transaction, causing authorities to wonder why it escalated to shots being fired. Patton later told police that he was in a gang and thought the young drug dealer was in a rival gang. Since the crime was gang related, charges against Patton were enhanced.
Charged as an adult
Due to the nature of the charges against Patton as a minor, his case was sent to district court and he was officially charged as an adult with his name going public. Utah Code 78A-6-701 states “The district court has exclusive original jurisdiction over all persons 16 years of age or older charged with an offense that would be murder or aggravated murder if committed by an adult.” Patton is also facing other felony charges:
aggravated robbery, another first degree felony;
second degree felony discharge of a firearm, and
third degree possession of a firearm by a restricted person.
Along with the murder charge, Patton’s other first degree felony and second degree felony would also qualify him as a serious youth offender as stated in Section 78A-6-702 meaning he would be charged as an adult. His four day trial in Salt Lake 3rd District Court is set for January 28, 2020.
Many teens falsely assume their young age grants them immunity against prison time. Any parents with teens who have committed crimes in which they could be charged as an adult should consult immediately with a juvenile defense attorney who preferably handles cases in district court as well.
A Utah teen is facing felony discharge of a weapon and attempted murder charges after he shot up a home where he had a argument with the homeowner hours earlier.
Exchanging words with bullets
18 year old Joshua Baer of Springville, Utah was arrested after he opened fire on a home, striking one of the residents in the head. The husband of the wounded woman stated to police that he had gotten into a heated exchange of words with Baer earlier in the day. Later on, after investigating a strange noise outside, the husband saw someone who looked like Baer pointing a gun at the house. The man shut the door quickly, but Baer unleashed several bullets at the home, striking the man’s wife in the head. The wife was rushed to a local hospital where she is expected to survive and Baer was charged with felony discharge of a weapon and attempted murder.
Felony discharge of a weapon
The attempted murder charge of Baer is a first degree felony, punishable by five years to life in prison and a fine of $10,000. He also faces another first degree felony for felony discharge of a weapon. Utah Code 76-10-508.1 states “an individual who discharges a firearm is guilty of a third degree felony punishable by imprisonment for a term of not less than three years nor more than five years if:
the actor discharges a firearm in the direction of one or more individuals, knowing or having reason to believe that any individual may be endangered by the discharge of the firearm;
the actor, with intent to intimidate or harass another or with intent to damage a habitable structure as defined in Section 76-6-101, discharges a firearm in the direction of any individual or habitable structure; or
the actor, with intent to intimidate or harass another, discharges a firearm in the direction of any vehicle.”
That section goes on to explain that if anyone is injured during the felony discharge of a weapon, the charges increase to a second degree felony. If anyone is seriously injured, the charges increase further to a first degree felony.”
Rage with a weapon
Authorities have not released what words were exchanged between Baer and the homeowner. Whatever was said however was enough to spark rage in Baer for him to return later with a weapon. Many teens experience instances of rage and increased irritability as a result of changing hormones. While this is part of growing up, decisions made while angry can be life changing. Teens need to be educated in ways to safely and effectively handle their changing emotions to prevent instances they may regret for the rest of their lives. Any teens facing criminal charges for crimes committed during bouts of rage are encouraged to seek legal counsel from a juvenile defense attorney.
Two teens from Colorado have been charged in Utah with second degree theft of a vehicle and one teen has been unable to return home for over six weeks.
Utah traffic stop
19 year old Darrell Mitchell of Denver, Colorado and 19 year old Chanel Wideman of the neighboring suburb of Aurora, Colorado were both detained following a traffic stop south of St. George, Utah in early April. The duo were driving over twenty miles above the speed limit prompting a Utah Highway Patrol officer to initiate the stop. Once stopped, the UHP officer discovered the vehicle had been reported stolen from the Denver International Airport. A search was made on the vehicle where a stolen firearm, marijuana, and a large quantity of prescription medication was located in the vehicle as well. Mitchell and Wideman were both detained for multiple felonies including second degree felony theft of a vehicle.
Theft of a Vehicle and other felonies
During questioning, both Mitchell and Wideman claimed personal ownership of the vehicle, firearm, and drugs. Consequently, both were charged. The teens both face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges for the theft of the vehicle, drugs, and the firearm. Theft of vehicle is defined by Utah Code 76-6-412 as a second degree felony, punishable by one to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The firearm by a restricted person charge is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine as high as $5,000. The drugs with intent is also a third degree felony, with an additional fine and possible prison term added.
Jailed away from home
Both of the teens broke the law and were fittingly arrested. Unfortunately however, Wideman was not financially able to pay the bail and afford the multiple trips back to Utah so she has been sitting in a Utah jail over 600 miles away from her home, family, friends, and job. Wideman would have gone home and returned for her various hearings, yet Utah courts considers her a flight risk as she resides in another state. For this reason her bail has not been reduced like it was for Mitchell, and she remains in Utah. Teens who are barely adults and are free to travel nationwide without their parents should be aware of the laws in which they visit and all the various repercussions should they be placed in jail away from home.
A 16 year old Utah teen accused of shaking a baby in his care could be facing child abuse homicide charges after the infant died following being taken off life support.
In his care
The teenager, who is unnamed due to his age was taking care of the 5 month old baby girl and her two year old brother at their home in West Valley City when the baby stopped breathing. The infant was rushed to the hospital where it was determined that she had been shaken by the teenage babysitter. The baby was taken off life support after it was determined her injuries were too severe. She then sadly passed away.
Child abuse homicide
Authorities said the boy was being held on child abuse charges pending a potential change to homicide if the baby ended up not making it. Now that she has died, the charged against the boy could be enhanced to child abuse homicide. Utah Code 76-5-208 states “Criminal homicide constitutes child abuse homicide if, under circumstances not amounting to aggravated murder . . . the actor causes the death of a person under 18 years of age and the death results from child abuse,
(a) if the child abuse is done recklessly. . . [it is a first degree felony];
(b) if the child abuse is done with criminal negligence . . .[it is a second degree felony]:
(c) if, under circumstances not amounting to the type of child abuse homicide described in Subsection [A], the child abuse is done intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence . . . .[it is also a second degree felony].”
Know your limits
According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, “SBS/AHT [Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma] is the leading cause of physical child abuse deaths in the U.S.” Taking care of an infant or a small child can be very difficult, especially if the baby cries incessantly or behaves contrary to how the person caring for them would want them to. Most caretakers practice soothing techniques and other methods to bring happiness to both the child and the caretaker. Even then, sometimes the crying or unwanted behavior continues. Caretakers are encouraged to know their limits and take the appropriate time and space needed to ensure they can handle the situation with the young child safely and appropriately. Teens who may be dealing with surges and fluctuations of hormones known to cause irritability and even moments of rage should decide whether or not child care is something they should be participating in. Any teens facing charges for grave mistakes regarding children in their care should consult with a juvenile defense attorney immediately.