Utah man repeatedly exposed himself in Park City, police claim
The Park City Police Department on Wednesday arrested a Cottonwood Heights man on suspicion of four misdemeanor charges categorized as lewdness, including three counts of lewdness involving a child, outlining cases stretching for longer than three years.
The 57-year-old man on Friday was released from the Summit County Jail on $50,000 bail. He had not been formally charged in 3rd District Court by Friday morning. The Park Record does not typically name suspects who have not been charged.
The Summit County Attorney’s Office is screening the case. It has been assigned to the prosecutor who works on cases involving special victims. The office anticipates deciding next week whether to file formal charges.
The Police Department drafted an affidavit of probable cause against the man covering accusations dating to late 2016. According to the affidavit, on Dec. 10, 2016 at 6 p.m., a man wearing just a Santa Claus hat exposed himself to three girls, each 15, in a hallway close to the swimming pool at a Park City hotel. The person “told the victims he was playing a game, and then ducked into an alcove,” the affidavit says.
The next year, on Dec. 2, a man wearing just a Santa Claus hat exposed himself to a 15-year-old girl at a hot tub at a different Park City hotel, followed by another case at a different hotel that date, it says. The second case on Dec. 2 occurred at the same hotel as the one in 2016.
On Dec. 1, 2018, a man wearing just a Santa Claus hat exposed himself to three youngsters and their father at a hotel swimming pool, the same one as the 2016 case, the affidavit says. A similar incident was reported later in December of 2018, the filing says. Some of the cases occurred on the same day as the Santa pub crawl in Park City, an annual event celebrating the holiday season.
The suspect eluded the police in each of the cases.
On Dec. 7, 2019, the date of that year’s pub crawl, the Police Department mounted an undercover operation at one of the hotels where the cases were reported in previous years. The affidavit says a man was seen observing the pool, where two women were posing as decoys. An undercover officer approached the person, who left the hotel and drove away, the filing says, indicating investigators obtained a license-plate number on a vehicle that was registered to the man. Another case was reported in late December of 2019.
The authorities conducted a surveillance operation on the suspect and, with a warrant, put a GPS tracker on the vehicle in mid-January. On Wednesday, the GPS tracker showed the truck driving to Park City from Cottonwood Heights, parking in a lot close to three hotels, the filing says.
The police watched him walk between three hotels and were told of a suspected lewdness case in one of the hotels. The authorities pulled the man over and arrested him at gunpoint.
The Santa pub crawl is held each year for people 21 and older on Main Street. The Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents the interests of businesses on Main Street or just off the street, says several hundred people attend each year, with costumes including Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Christmas trees.
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Park City officials are anticipating heavy traffic over a five-week stretch that started on Friday, a sign that City Hall expects solid business over an important period in the ski season.