Utah Lawmakers On 'High Alert' After Sex Scandal Leads To 'Entrapment Attempt'
Police are investigating and Utah lawmakers have been put on high alert after what they’re calling an entrapment attempt.
Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, said he was getting ready to attend a University of Utah basketball game with a colleague Thursday evening when there was a knock on the door of his hotel room at the Little America in Salt Lake City.
“I opened the door and there was a young lady standing there,” Vickers said.
When he asked who she was, Vickers said she replied, “I’m your date.”
“No, you’re not,” the senator replied, but the woman insisted the two had reservations in downtown Salt Lake City that evening.
Vickers said the woman, whom he did not recognize but described as “fairly normal looking,” in her 30s with brown hair, did not use his name or indicate who specifically she was looking for.
“You could say I was shocked,” he said, adding that it “certainly had all the feels of entrapment.”
It happened the same day news broke that a lawmaker who unexpectedly resigned this week hadpaid an escort for sex last year.
Former Rep. Jon Stanard of St. George reportedly met a woman at his state-paid hotel room on two separate occasions last year. The woman provideddetails and screenshots of text messages to the British tabloid Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail this week also published photographs of the abused ex-wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Porter worked for Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee before going to the White House.
Police are investigating the incident involving Sen. Vickers. Senate Pres. Wayne Niederhauser said he has put all legislators on high alert.
Lawmakers worry that they’re vulnerable after the story involving Stanard. Some people may see it as an opportunity to make money, Niederhauser said.
“I can see where mal-intended people would be attracted to legislators,” he said. “We want to make sure that all of our Senators and Representatives are aware that we might be targets."
Vickers said after he closed the door on the woman outside his hotel room, he called a colleague to come up to his room and informed hotel security.
Investigators are looking into who the woman is and how she was able to find a lawmaker’s hotel room. Vickers said the front desk at the hotel did not give away his room number.
The woman “never used my name, or [knew] who I was at all, she just said, ‘I’m your date,’” Vickers said.
All lawmakers were encouraged Friday to be careful on social media and to stick together as a “strength in numbers” precaution. The Little America offered to move Vickers’ room, which he said he is considering.