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Surveillance footage reviewed in alleged entrapment of state senator
February 13, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, said Monday he's reviewed surveillance footage from the Little America Hotel as part of the ongoing investigation into whether a woman claiming to be his "date" tried to entrap him.

"I changed rooms," Vickers said, calling it a "safety precaution" following the Thursday incident where a woman showed up at his hotel room insisting she was his date for the evening.

He referred questions about the footage to the Utah Highway Patrol.

UHP Lt. Todd Royce said the State Bureau of Investigation has the footage but is not making it public "so they can isolate and figure out what’s happened. We are in contact with Sen. Vickers."

Royce said authorities are trying to identify the woman so she can be interviewed.

The incident, described by Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, last week as a possible case of entrapment, came a day after a story appeared in a British tabloid alleging former Rep. Jon Stanard, hired a prostitute twice last year.

Stanard, a Republican from St. George, resigned from the Legislature on Tuesday. He has not addressed the allegations, but House officials are looking into whether to seek reimbursement from him for hotel costs paid for by the state.

Niederhauser said he expects an update on the investigation later this week from law enforcement authorities. No other instances have been reported by lawmakers, he said.

"We don't know all the details, other than we were just assuming some things," Niederhauser said, advising lawmakers they should "take precautions to make sure we're aware and on alert."

Security has not been increased for lawmakers from outside the Wasatch Front area who stay at Little America and other hotels during the 45-day legislative session as well as interim meetings, he said.

"Hopefully, everybody is thinking twice about wandering off alone and making sure they have somebody with them," the Senate leader said.

Royce said the buddy system is a good way to stay out of trouble.

"Absolutely," he said. "Just for accusations."

The UHP lieutenant praised Vickers' actions after the incident. The senator asked a fellow lawmaker waiting for him in the hotel lobby to come up to his room so they could leave together.

"What Sen. Vickers did after the incident occurred is exactly what we would hope they would do to protect themselves from any criminal actions and or allegations," Royce said.

He said he was not sure if UHP was discussing providing additional security to lawmakers.

"I do know, especially during the legislative session, they’re vigilant," Royce said. "Even if we did, we probably wouldn’t reveal that."