HURRICANE — A 21-year-old Hurricane man was arrested Tuesday and charged with a third-degree felony after allegedly admitting to having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl. If convicted, the man could serve up to five years in prison.
On Jan. 5, a 15-year-old female attending Hurricane High School told a teacher she had been raped, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Springdale Department of Public Safety in support of the arrest. The teacher sent the student to be interviewed by an officer.
The teen told the officer the name of a 21-year-old man whom she alleged “went to her house and sex was forced on her,” the statement read.
The following day, officers met with the man at the Hurricane Police Department to speak with him about the allegation. The man was interviewed and agreed to talk to police about the incident.
“(He) admitted going to the minor’s house and that the two had sexual intercourse,” the arresting officer wrote in the statement. “(He) admitted he was told by the minor at one point that she did not want to have sex and to stop. Later, after hugging and kissing, he said the minor agreed to have sex.”
The 21-year-old allegedly admitted to police that he knew the girl was 15 years old, the statement read.
The man was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility on a third-degree felony count of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
In Utah, a third-degree felony charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Judge G. Michael Westfall, of the 5th District Court, ordered $10,000 bail for the man’s release pending trial.
He was found indigent by the court during his initial court appearance Thursday and will be represented by court-appointed attorney Ariel Taylor. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance Monday afternoon.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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