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Summit County

Man sentenced to weekends in jail for sexually abusing 12-year-old now faces new, similar charges

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Less than one year after Tyler Austin Erickson received a sentence of 10 weekends in jail for sexually abusing a 12-year-old, he was charged in Utah County with similar alleged crimes.

The public rebuke of the terms of a jail sentence from the Summit County Attorney was unusual. When Margaret Olson last year called the 10 weekends in jail “heartbreaking and disturbing,” she said it sent a message that the crime was not that serious, and the danger not that great.

Last year, Summit County alleged Tyler Austin Erickson, then 20, attempted to impregnate a 12-year-old girl he met online. Erickson pled guilty to attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child and enticing a minor by internet or text, both felonies.

3rd District Court Judge Richard Mrazik sentenced Erickson to 20 days in jail and 10 years of probation, and ordered him to abide by Group A sex-offender conditions. Mrazik also imposed suspended prison sentences of three years to life for one charge and one to 15 years for the other charge.

Last week, 11 months to the day after that sentence, Erickson was arrested in Utah County for what the charging documents call “substantially similar conduct.”

The Utah County charges allege Erickson sent sexually explicit messages and photos to someone he believed to be a 16-year-old girl, and arranged to meet for sex. He was arrested when he arrived at the allegedly agreed-upon location in Provo. Erickson now faces two class A misdemeanors and four third-degree felonies.

No attorney was listed for Erickson as of Tuesday afternoon. An attorney who previously represented Erickson declined to comment and said he had not been retained in this case.

Erickson is also accused of violating the terms of his probation, potentially triggering the suspended sentences Mrazik issued in the Summit County case.

Mrazik did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent to a judicial assistant. A Utah courts spokesperson said judges are unable to comment on specific cases.

When Mrazik sentenced Erickson last June, he said the crime was very serious and that “spending 10 weekends with the Summit County Jail will recognize the severe nature” of the crime.

The Summit County prosecutor, a state agency and the victim’s grandmother at the time requested Erickson serve time in prison.

Mrazik said when opting for jail time that he was not legally able to consider the underlying facts of the case as aggravating factors that impact sentencing, but that there were several mitigating factors. Those included Erickson’s lack of a criminal record and the fact that he voluntarily sought treatment.

Olson declined to comment on the new charges. Last June, Olson said in a statement “we are greatly disturbed by the leniency shown this offender, who is a danger to children.”