ST. GEORGE – A St. George woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 5th District Court Thursday for offenses related to sexual exploitation and unlawful sexual activity with of a minor.
Jaime Renee Tactay, 37, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and related offenses in October. Tactay was initially facing sundry charges, but through a plea deal the charges were reduced to a total of five spread across two cases related to her relationship with the victim, who was identified as a 15-year-old boy.
An initial sentencing recommendation resulting from a presentencing investigation advised that Judge John Walton should send Tactay to jail for a year and that she should then be under supervised probation. However, the state argued that because Tactay had shown a disregard for court orders and had violated a protective order, she needed to be sent to prison.
Tactay was originally arrested in June after police were made aware of her alleged sexual relationship with the victim. She was able to make bail and was released from custody, and a protective order was put in place prohibiting her from coming in contact with the victim. Despite this, Tactay and the victim reestablished contact in August and engaged in additional sexual encounters. She was subsequently arrested and held without bail on Walton’s orders.
Through the plea deal, Tactay pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony count of sexual exploitation of a minor, which can carry a 5 to 15-year prison term, and a third-degree felony count of unlawful sexual activity with a minor between 14-15 years old, which carries a prison term of up to 5 years. In the second case, she pleaded guilty to two additional third-degree felony counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and a class-A misdemeanor for violating the protective order, which has a zero to 1-year jail term.
Deputy Washington County Attorney Ryan Shaum asked the court to sentence Tactay to the statutory terms attached to the offenses in each case. Time for charges within each case would be served concurrently, with the two cases served back-to-back, making for a potential prison sentence of 20 years.
“This is her first offense,” Michael Lastowski, Tactay’s lawyer, said.
He added he was not making light of the crimes that had taken place, yet said he felt prison was too harsh for someone’s first foray into the criminal justice system.
“I’m not saying what she’s done is not reprehensible, is not bad,” he said. “However, to send someone to prison on a first offense doesn’t make sense to me.”
Tactay was allowed to address the court and was very emotional as she spoke.
“I’m just sorry for everything,” she said.
Tactay added she was sorry for what she had done to the victim as well as her own family.
“It’s not fair to any of them,” she said.
The victim’s mother was also allowed to speak to the court, as well. She said the encounters with Tactay had left her son with a twisted sense of reality. It is was something he may not be able to completely understand for many years to come, she said.
“You cannot restore his innocence,” the victim’s mother said as she addressed Tactay.
She said the entire situation has taken an emotional toll on her son. His health, education and other relationships have also been negatively impacted because of Tactay’s actions, she said.
“Consider the life-altering nature of what has happened,” she said.
From the state’s standpoint, the whole case is a terrible one, Shaum said. The state may have been fine with the initial sentencing recommendations if Tactay hadn’t gone after the boy a second time, he said. Such actions made it evident to the prosecution that Tactay was still a potential threat to the victim and the community.
Walton agreed and sentenced Tactay according to the state’s recommendation. Though there is a potential that Tactay may be released earlier depending on the circumstances, the maximum time she could serve in prison is 20 years. Tactay was also ordered to pay for the victim’s counseling.
“This is a tragic case,” Walton said.
The victim’s mother requested not to be named in order to safeguard the identity of her son.
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