Man certified as Utah law enforcer accused of engaging in sex with teen

A man who has obtained police officer certification in Utah is facing charges of engaging in sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl.

A man who has obtained police officer certification in Utah is facing charges of engaging in sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl. (Peter Titmuss, Alamy )


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PAYSON — A Utah County man who is certified to be a law enforcer in the state is accused of engaging in sexual relations with a teen girl.

Riley John Rodriguez, 28, of Elk Ridge, was charged Monday in 4th District Court with four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 17-year-old girl, a third-degree felony and three class A misdemeanors.

In November, Rodriguez met a 17-year-old girl in the parking lot at Walmart in Payson.

"Prior to meeting the victim, (he) had messaged her over an app and the two agreed to meet up and engage in certain sexual acts," according to charging documents.

The girl later told investigators she thought Rodriguez might be a police officer "given the type of vehicle he drove and some items in his car that suggest he was a law enforcement officer. In addition, (Rodriguez) knew details about her such as where her family lived, what car she drove, etc.," the charges state.

Rodriguez engaged in sexual activity with the teen while in his pickup truck, according to the charges.

A spokeswoman with the Utah Department of Public Safety confirmed Monday that Rodriguez is certified by Peace Officer Standards and Training, a requirement for all sworn officers in Utah. It was not immediately known if Rodriguez was employed by a law enforcement agency at the time of the alleged offense.

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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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