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.
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 Utah teen has been charged with aggravated assault for an attack on his pregnant girlfriend that was done in the hopes to cause a miscarriage.
Attack on pregnant girlfriend
18 year old Trevor Knudson of St. George, Utah was arrested after his 16 year old girlfriend contacted police stating that she had been physically assaulted. The teen who is pregnant with Knudson’s child told police that Knudson wanted her to miscarry and so he proceeded to punch and kick the pregnant teen in the stomach multiple times before throwing her against a wall. Knudson, who was not said to be represented by an attorney, openly agreed with the victim’s statement to police.
Knudson was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility on charges of aggravated assault which is defined by Utah Code 76-5-103 as “. . . conduct that is:
i. An attempt, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another;
ii. A threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; or
iii. An act, committed with unlawful force or violence, that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another; and . . . includes the use of a dangerous weapon . . . any act that impedes the breathing or the circulation of blood . . . or other means of force likely to produce death or serious bodily injury.”
Police have not released any information on condition of the pregnant teen or the unborn baby other than the fact that she waited until the morning after the incident to contact police. Additionally, Knudson was booked on third degree aggravated assault charges; charges that would have been enhanced to second degree had the assault resulted in serious bodily injury. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine no greater than $5,000. Anyone facing criminal charges such as aggravated assault should seek an attorney prior to police questioning. Soon to be parents of any age who may feel distraught or anxious about the upcoming birth of a child are encouraged to contact their local health department for helpful options such as parenting classes or mental health services.
A Utah teen has been charged with attempted murder following a heated family argument.
18 year old Tristan Olsen and his father both of Vernal Utah were engaged in a verbal argument when things quickly intensified. It is not known at this time whether or not the two began physically assaulting each other first, but what ended the argument was when the younger Olsen attacked his father with a knife, stabbing him multiple times. After the father and son went outside to smoke together, they told the mother who called for an ambulance. The father was taken to the hospital where he is in stable condition and Tristan Olsen was booked into the Uintah County Jail for attempted homicide.
According to Utah Code 76-4-101, “. . . a person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime [such as murder] if he:
(a) Engages in conduct constituting a substantial step toward commission of the crime; and
(i) intends to commit the crime; or
(ii) when causing a particular result is an element of the crime, he acts with an awareness that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause that result.”
That section also goes on to note that “. . . conduct constitutes a substantial step if it strongly corroborates the actor’s mental state [as acting with awareness of the potential result of the conduct].”
Attempted murder or something else
According to young Olsen, his father was the first to reach for the knife used in the attack. If this information proves correct, Olsen could have been acting in self-defense which is not punishable if “. . . the person reasonably believes that force or a threat of force is necessary to defend the person . . . against another person’s imminent use of unlawful force.” If any witnesses or the victim do not collaborate with that story, Olsen could still see a lessened charge since his actions were done during a heated argument when emotions were heightened. Like most teens who lash out at their parents, it is likely that Olsen didn’t intend to do his father harm. An experienced attorney can ensure Olsen receives the mental health services he needs while making sure he is represented fairly in court.