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Charge: Officer's body camera recorded him admitting extortion

By Pat Reavy, KSL  |  Posted Nov 17th, 2017 @ 7:00pm



SOUTH JORDAN — A former South Jordan police officer now faces a criminal charge after prosecutors say his body camera recorded him while on-duty talking about extorting his ex-wife.

Jonathan Mangum, 31, of Eagle Mountain, was charged Thursday by the Utah Attorney General's Office with theft by extortion, a second-degree felony.

On Aug. 27, six days after his divorce became final and while employed with the South Jordan Police Department, Mangum responded to a domestic violence situation. While speaking to the suspect in that incident, Mangum told him about an incriminating picture he had of his own ex-wife that he used "to force her to back off pursuing a share of his pension during divorce proceedings," according to charging documents.

"Jonathan Mangum also stated he threatened her by saying, 'I’ll get (Utah Division of Child and Family Services) involved, I’ll throw this up on Facebook. … I’ll show it to your parents. I’ll (expletive) ruin (you),'" the charges state.

Mangum allegedly told the man that his wife "backed off" after threatening her with the picture.

"He finished that portion of the conversation by saying it 'sucks you gotta play dirty games like that,'" according to charging documents.

That conversation was later discovered by South Jordan police officials reviewing body camera video in their office.

At the time of the incident, Mangum had already given his two weeks' notice to pursue another job, but South Jordan police Friday said the department felt it had a duty to report the findings.

An investigator with the Utah Attorney General's Office interviewed the ex-wife. "Although there were several circumstances in weighing out the decision, (she said) it was the photograph that made her back off the retirement/pension. She claimed she did not want to take the 'risk' of Jonathan Mangum putting the picture out as she was 'scared' and 'embarrassed' of the picture’s existence," the charges state.

In text messages, Mangum threatened to use the picture at least three times, according to investigators.

The agent investigating the extortion allegation "observed several other messages where officer Jonathan Mangum appeared to be threatening (the ex-wife) with taking away the kids, withholding child support, insurance issues and the like," according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 3rd District Court.

Mangum's wife filed for divorce from him in April. A divorce decree was issued on Aug. 21. The decree states that Mangum "shall be awarded his pension in full, free and clear of any claim by petitioner," according to court documents.

An initial appearance for Mangum is scheduled for Dec. 19.

Pat Reavy, KSL
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