Spanish Fork man arrested in sting operation after allegedly luring minor

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SPANISH FORK — A 27-year-old man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly attempted to meet up with a 13-year-old girl to engage in illegal sexual activity.

The 13-year-old girl was not who the man, Russell Jay Lake, expected, according to Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

Instead, Lake met a detective from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office who began communicating with Lake in early October, Cannon said. The officer posed as the teen girl for the purpose of a sting operation.

Detectives with the Utah Valley Special Victims Task Force who were working with the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force arrested Lake at the location he set to meet up with the supposed girl, Cannon said.

Lake initially used an app that allows for anonymous communications within a limited geographic area. The communication then turned to email, Cannon said.

During these communications, Lake described sexual acts he would perform with the detective, whom he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, Cannon said.

Lake was booked into the Utah County Jail on charges of attempted sodomy on a child, attempted object rape of a child, attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and enticing or luring a minor by Internet or text, all second-degree felonies. Bail has not yet been set for Lake.

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Megan Marsden Christensen


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