A Weber County sex offender has been arrested and charged in 1st District Court after allegedly arranging to meet a teenage victim at a Wellsville church.
Tanner Paul Clark, 27, made his initial appearance on seven felony charges filed on Thursday: one count of second-degree enticing a minor and six counts of third-degree enticing a minor. Clark was booked into the Cache County Jail on Wednesday evening.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court, Cache County Sheriff’s Office deputies received a report of an adult male — later identified as Clark — who had driven to a Latter-day Saint church in Wellsville to meet a 15-year-old girl.
According to deputies, Clark initially made contact with the alleged victim through social media and had presented himself as a 17-year-old from Brigham City. The alleged victim told deputies after two weeks the conversations from Clark became sexual.
“She stated that he asked her more than 10 different times to send nude photographs of herself however she refused to do this,” deputies wrote.
On Wednesday, deputies wrote that Clark messaged the victim to “meet up” and “go where nobody else was.” The alleged victim went to the location with friends who agreed to accompany her.
“Tanner arrived and parked on the opposite side of the parking lot,” deputies wrote. “She stated that he messaged her and tried to get her to come and get in his car.”
The affidavit states Clark left the church when he recognized the girl was not alone. The girl’s friends followed Clark while taking pictures of his vehicle and license plate. Deputies wrote they took a video of Clark “while he was trying to hide his face.”
In a prior case in March 2019, Clark pleaded guilty to six third-degree felonies in the 2nd District Court: two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16-17 year old, and two counts of dealing in materials harmful to a minor.
Court records show Clark was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years’ probation in lieu of prison. However, Judge David Hamilton ordered two prison terms to run consecutively if prison time was to be served. According to the sentencing order, Clark was ordered to have “no internet or texting while on probation” unless otherwise approved.
Clark was taken into custody by his probation officer at his apartment in South Weber. Deputies wrote that a smart phone was located in the residence; Clark had not been authorized to possess one, nor was he to have social media accounts.
During his appearance on Thursday, Judge Brian Cannell ordered Clark to be held without bail until a motion for detention hearing set for Jan. 18.