Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY — A man already facing charges saying he paid a teenage girl for sex is now accused of pulling a gun on a driver who was trying to explain to him that traffic wasn't moving because an elderly woman was crossing the street.
Santiago Steven Maese, 45, of South Jordan, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; and disorderly conduct, an infraction.
On Aug. 8, a man was stopped at the intersection of 300 South and West Temple "where an elderly woman was crossing the street." The man noticed that a car was stopped in the right-hand turn lane waiting for the woman to cross while another driver, later identified as Maese, was behind him, according to charging documents.
Maese began honking his horn at the driver ahead of him. After several honks, the man "motioned to indicate that someone was crossing the street." Maese replied by cursing at the man and continued honking, the charges state.
"(The man) then approached the suspect to tell him to calm down and that a pedestrian was in the road. (He) states the suspect rolled down his window and pointed a gun at (him), and the suspect told (the man) it was best for him to back off," according to the charges.
The first driver took pictures of the gunman and his car and called police. Officers looking at the pictures noted that Maese appeared to be holding "what appeared to be a black handgun with a mounted flashlight on it," the charges state.
As the investigation continued, Salt Lake police said they learned that the vehicle was registered to Maese. Furthermore, the man saw a news story about Maese being arrested in another case and "recognized him as the suspect that pulled a firearm on him."
Maese was arrested Nov. 17 and charged a few days later in 3rd District Court with two counts of human trafficking of a child, a first-degree felony; two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony; and six counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, a third-degree felony.
In that case, Maese is accused of paying a teenage girl "for relationships," charging documents state.
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.