SYRACUSE — Self-described constitutional conservative Cory Green, who announced last week he is seeking Rob Bishop’s seat in the 1st Congressional District, says a pair of sexual battery convictions from nearly a decade ago stemmed from an error in judgment in encounters in which he maintains no inappropriate sexual activity occurred.
“I have nothing to hide,” Green said, while stressing, “I am fully accountable for my errors in judgment that happened in 2010.”
Green was originally charged with two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, and two counts of sexual battery, a third-degree felony, stemming from what he described as four encounters with a young woman who told him she was a massage therapist.
He pleaded guilty to two reduced counts of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor, as part of a plea deal. In exchange, the other charges were dismissed.
Green, who was a licensed security agent at the time, said he was inspecting a property in Kaysville and limping from numerous and ongoing physical problems with his feet. He said the woman approached him and said she could help him.
“I made the mistake of making an appointment with her,” he said Wednesday.
Green said he later learned she was on court probation and when he stopped seeing her, she threatened to extort him for $2,500.
Not long after he refused to pay, he said he found out there was a warrant issued for his arrest. Rather than fighting the case in court, he said he agreed to a plea bargain to the misdemeanor charges.
I have nothing to hide. I am fully accountable for my errors in judgment that happened in 2010.
“It’s just easier to accept a deal,” he said, noting his attorney told him a trial would cost $15,000.
Green told the Salt Lake Tribune, which was first to report the story Wednesday, that his experience was similar to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to the court following a high-profile Senate hearing involving allegations of sexual misconduct.
“I was victimized in this instance, just like Brett Kavanaugh has been victimized,” Green told the Tribune. “The only difference is I didn’t have a lot of money to continue playing the game.”
Green’s license through the Utah Division of Occupational Licensing was suspended for five years and he maintains the same investigator with Kaysville Police Department landed a job with the division and carried out a malicious campaign against him.
“I absolutely committed no sex acts during all four massages. All four massages were while I was off-duty and not on the clock as a security company owner or officer. I put myself in a dang bad situation to be accused of such sick and gross crap,” he said in an email to KSL.
A statement filed in 2nd District Court that Green signed in 2010 said he was pleading guilty to touching the woman in a private area of her body “without permission with the intent to cause sexual gratification” under circumstances that would “cause affront or alarm.”
Court records indicate he was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of probation. He was also ordered to participate in a sex offender treatment program and pay a $555 fine.
Administrative records with the Utah Department of Commerce indicate the victims and witnesses in the criminal case allege Green promised money and bought cigarettes in exchange for sexual favors.
On Wednesday, Green posted several statements on Twitter, including: “Sexual battery was the offered plea deal which in Utah Is NOT a sex offense, requiring no offender registry. It is a crime against the person. So in 2010 I pled to an offense that was NEVER alleged to have occurred because it NEVER DID occur. I was backed into a corner to battle a felony or take a plea deal ...”
I was victimized in this instance, just like Brett Kavanaugh has been victimized. The only difference is I didn’t have a lot of money to continue playing the game.
Earlier this year, Green pleaded no contest to a pair of class B misdemeanor charges of attempted unlawful conduct related to working in private security without a license.
Green, now 42, said he was a business partner in “paper only” with a security firm at the time, and again insists the state licensing agency is acting on a personal and vindictive level against him while ignoring licensed security agents who have done “far more” than him by granting them probationary status.
“I am a perfect example of an administrative state that is malicious,” he said.
The Department of Commerce’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Bolton, said the agency had no comment on Green’s allegations.
Green said he got into the race, despite knowing his criminal past would come up, because he is a conservative GOP member who supports President Donald Trump, including the president’s stance on illegal immigration and the need to roll back regulations that harm industry and small businesses.
The Syracuse resident is a 12-year veteran of the military and was the Davis County chairman of the campaign in 2016 to reelect Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
He added he believes his conservative views have made him a target, but insists he has nothing to hide.
“I’ve been perfectly content with life doing what I been doing without getting into politics,” he said, but added that conservative values have to be protected.
In 2017, Green was featured in a Deseret News story that explored positive reaction to Trump’s agenda on border security and a tougher crackdown on illegal immigrants.
Green’s uncle died in 2000 in a Layton crash involving an illegal immigrant teenager who was fleeing from police in a stolen truck. The truck struck the car that Green’s uncle was driving.
It’s emotional for him still, he said.
At the time, he told the Deseret News: “I’ve been negatively impacted by porous borders. My family has. My family was among those who didn’t have their voices heard until Donald Trump came along.”
Green, who said he was a Navy police officer and whose father worked as a police officer in Bountiful, said he respects the law. He’s now toying with the idea of a press conference to better detail his criminal case in Kaysville.
“I love law enforcement, only honest law enforcement, but I will call out dishonest policing every time I see it,” he said.
The seat in the 1st Congressional District is held by Bishop, R-Utah, who said he is retiring and not seeking another term.
Other candidates in the hunt include Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt and Morgan County Councilman Tina Cannon.