ST. GEORGE — A former detective with the Mesquite Police Department accused in federal court of sexually exploiting a St. George teen has changed his plea to guilty under a stipulated sentence at a hearing Monday afternoon.
Gary Erickson, 50, of Bunkerville, Nevada, had been charged with one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, which a maximum sentence of 30 years. He pleaded not guilty at an arraignment May 13.
Under the stipulated agreement, Erickson pleaded guilty in order to secure a sentence of five years in prison.
If the court decides on a harsher punishment, Erickson has the right to change his plea back to not guilty.
He was arrested in September 2018 after the parents of a 15-year-old boy in St. George contacted police saying their son had been involved in “sending and receiving nude photographs to (and) from an unknown adult male,” according to the affidavit filed by the Washington County Attorney’s Office.