Man once convicted in prostitution ring case now accused of paying teen for sex

A Utah man convicted more than 10 years ago amid allegations that he was running a prostitution ring was arrested Thursday and accused of paying an underage girl for sex.

A Utah man convicted more than 10 years ago amid allegations that he was running a prostitution ring was arrested Thursday and accused of paying an underage girl for sex. (Ancoay, Shutterstock)

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SOUTH JORDAN — The chief operating officer of a Utah constable service who was convicted over a decade ago of running a prostitution ring has been arrested again and is accused of paying a teenage girl for sex.

Santiago Steven Maese, 45, of South Jordan, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Thursday for investigation of human trafficking of a child, rape of a child, aggravated extortion of a child, five counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

The investigation began in August when South Jordan police were called to the home of a teenage girl after the girl's guardians discovered she had a cellphone they did not know about. The phone contained sexually graphic conversations with another person, according to a police booking affidavit.

"Multiple conversations were discovered between Santiago Steven Maese and the female juvenile victim," including some "which were graphic in sexual content," the affidavit states.

When questioned, the girl said "she met up with Steven on two different sites to be paid for relationships," including at his house and at his business, according to the affidavit. "The victim stated Steven would give her $100 every other time."

The girl, who is under 16, told police she told Maese she was 18. She was able to describe to investigators what kind of car Maese drives, where he does his banking, and that he works for Wasatch Constables and was "a higher-up person and runs the company," the affidavit states. Maese is listed on the Wasatch Constables website as its chief operating officer.

The girl also described being sexually assaulted by Maese at a car dealership, according to police.

In 2008, Maese was convicted of four counts of exploiting a prostitute and engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity for running a prostitution ring with Doll House escort service. Prosecutors at the time called Maese a modern-day "pimp." The Utah Court of Appeals upheld his conviction in 2010. A prison sentence of one to 15 years was suspended and he was ordered to serve 60 days in jail and three years of probation.

But Maese's conviction does not show up during a check of public court records. Maese successfully petitioned to have his case expunged, according to a 2019 article in the Salt Lake Tribune.

In 2019, Maese was charged in a couple of domestic violence-related cases. But one was later dismissed and he was acquitted in the other case, according to court records.

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


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