Utah man who served federal prison time faces new rape charges

Utah man who served federal prison time faces new rape charges

(Deseret News, File)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake man who is on the Utah Sex Offender Registry, who also served time in federal prison for using the internet to try and encourage a juvenile girl to runaway with him for sexual purposes, is in custody again facing new charges.

Mark Anthony Turner, 58, was charged Monday in 3rd District Court with rape and two counts of forcible sodomy, first-degree felonies; kidnapping, a second-degree felony; and sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor. A $500,000 arrest warrant was issued on Monday and he was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Tuesday, according to court records.

Turner, whose home address is listed in court documents as the federal halfway house at 1585 W. 2100 South, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in June. The victim is a woman Turner met on a bus, according to Salt Lake police.

His initial court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 21.

In 2006, Turner made headlines when he was arrested by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Turner, who was living in Twin Falls at the time, was spending as much as eight hours a day online looking for teens to have sex with, according to authorities.

He was arrested in Sandy when he arranged a meeting with a person posing as a 13-year-old girl, but who was actually an undercover officer. Turner laid out a plan for the “girl” to run away from her family and not return until she was 18, according to federal charging documents.

In 2009, Turner was convicted in federal court of enticing a minor and was sentenced to seven years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release, according to court documents.

At the time, state authorities feared there were additional victims who hadn’t stepped forward.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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