Police rescue teenager from alleged forced prostitution, 2 arrested

A Dodge Charger sits in the Denny's parking lot on 1000 East Street after ramming a police car. St. George, Utah, Oct. 4, 2016 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Police arrested two adults during a sting operation in St. George Tuesday that revealed a 15-year-old girl being used for prostitution against her will.

Keilli Maxey, arrested Tuesday by St. George Police. Hurricane, Utah, October 4, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff's Office, St. George News
Keilii Minyon Maxey, arrested Tuesday by St. George Police. Booking photo, Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 4, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

St. George Police detectives assigned to the Fraudulent Identity and Security Threat Unit arrested John Paul Alcutt, 33, of Richmond, California, and Keilii Minyon Maxey, 24, of Burbank, California, as the result of an undercover operation.

Their apprehension was made, according to a news release from St. George Police Officer Lona Trombley, after detectives intercepted information that a female prostitute was actively soliciting money for sexual acts in St. George.

According to probable cause statements sworn in support of the arrests, an undercover officer was able to schedule an appointment to meet with the prostitute at a local motel.

When detectives met with the girl, Trombley said in her news release, they discovered she was 15 years old and was allegedly participating involuntarily.

“The female was obviously young in appearance, and Detectives learned she is 15 years old,” Trombley said. “She was homeless and a runaway at the time she was taken in by strangers and groomed to become a prostitute.”

According to the probable cause statements, the girl had been transported by Alcutt and Maxey from California to Utah for the purpose of engaging in sex acts for money.

In an interview following his arrest, Alcutt allegedly admitted to police that he transported both Maxey and the girl to St. George and arranged for them to be prostituted out for money. According to the probable cause statement in support of his arrest, Alcutt also admitted to receiving the money for their prostitution.

Alcutt and Maxey had been exploiting the girl for several months, Trombley said, often denying her food or the ability to move about freely. They were also allegedly giving her large amounts of drugs.

The events leading to the arrests unfolded when detectives went to the motel room as part of the undercover operation. According to police statements, officers positioned on the perimeter saw Alcutt and Maxey leaving in a hurry and driving toward a convenience store. Alcutt left the vehicle and Maxey drove back to the motel.

Officers then identified themselves and approached Maxey in her car to ask her questions, police statements say, using their car to block her path. But Maxey locked her car doors, rolled up her windows and backed into the detectives’ SUV. She then looped around the motel and the convenience store, exited the parking lot and drove to Denny’s at 155 N. 1000 East with St. George Police in active pursuit.

John Alcutt, arrested Tuesday by St. George Police. Hurricane, Utah, October 4, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff's Office, St. George News
John Alcutt, arrested Tuesday by St. George Police. Booking photo, Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 4, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Alcutt came out of Denny’s and was taken into custody without incident, Trombley said.

Maxey, however, attempted again to allegedly evade police by ramming the detectives’ SUV, using her car to push it out of the way – an officer was inside the SUV at the time, Trombley said.

“Three separate times, Keilii (Maxey) struck the investigator’s vehicle with her vehicle in order to avoid apprehension,” St. George Police Detective Aaron Bergquist wrote in his probable cause statement.

Maxey’s attempts to escape arrest failed as other police and a citizen observing the altercation used their vehicles to block her in the parking lot. Although she reportedly barricaded herself in the car, police negotiators eventually persuaded her to exit the car and she was placed under arrest.

Read more: Police chase ends with driver ramming police car

Before being booked, Maxey was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George for medical clearance and questioning. She became extremely agitated and aggressive when questioned by detectives, according to police statements. When they tried to restrain her for everyone’s safety, Bergquist wrote in his statement, she violently thrashed around, resisted restraint, assaulted officers and spit on numerous people, including officers.

Washington County Attorney’s Office has filed an Information bringing 13 charges against Maxey: one count of  aggravated exploitation of prostitution involving a child, a first-degree felony; six counts of aggravated assault, third-degree felonies; two counts of assault against a police officer, class A misdemeanors; two counts of propelling a substance or object at correctional or peace officer, class A misdemeanors; and two counts of propelling a bodily substance at another person, class B misdemeanors. Bail required for her release pending trial was set at $25,000 by order of Judge John Walton, according to the findings and order accompanying the probable cause statement for her arrest.

The County Attorney’s Office has filed an Information bringing three charges against Alcutt, one each for aggravated exploitation of prostitution involving a child, a first-degree felony; exploiting prostitution, a third-degree felony; and unlawful possession of another’s identification document(s), a class A misdemeanor. Bail required for his release pending trial was set at $25,000 by order of Judge John Walton, according to the findings and order accompanying the probable cause statement for his arrest. Alcutt was released from jail at 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Both are scheduled to make initial appearances before Utah’s 5th District Court in Washington County Thursday.

The Department of Child and Family Services has been contacted to assist with the 15-year-old girl, Trombley said in her news release.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

UPDATED Oct. 6, 2016 – bail and release information updated.

St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.

Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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6 Comments

  • old school October 5, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Kudos to the St G PD, another scumbag off the streets! Can’t believe the Judge allowed bail, everyone should remember the Judges name come eelection day!!!

    • Curtis October 6, 2016 at 11:09 am

      If the purpose of bail is to assure appearance in court $25,000 for these two sounds really low.

  • Not_So_Much October 6, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Judge John Walton should send the message loud and clear to stay out of STG if this is what you have in mind.

  • sagemoon October 6, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Scum bags.

  • Bob October 6, 2016 at 11:53 am

    as un-pc as it is, I can’t help but be curious as to the race of the 15yo victim. anyone else?

  • r2d2 October 6, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    There is another one in the bookings for massage parlor and prostitution. Maybe if they started posting pictures of the John’s. The customer base would dry up.

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