HURRICANE – A 37-year-old convicted sex offender was arrested Thursday for being in the presence of a child after he reportedly picked his daughter and her friend up from school and allowed the two girls to have a sleepover at his home.
Edward Scott Paulus, of Hurricane, was reported by a parent who told police Paulus failed to disclose he was a registered sex offender, Hurricane City Police Officer Ian Atkinson said in a probable cause statement supporting the arrest.
Paulus had been taking the girls to and picking the girls up from school since January and the two girls had been having sleepovers together at his home, the statement said.
“Through this time,” Atkinson said in the statement, “the complainant had no knowledge that (Paulus) was a registered sex offender.”
In April 1996, Paulus was convicted of second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child, according to Utah court documents; and, in December 2012, he was convicted of failure to register as a sex offender, a third-degree felony.
Utah law mandates that a sex offender convicted of committing a sex offense against a child younger than 14 years of age, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if the sex offender requests, invites or solicits a child to accompany the sex offender without informing the child’s parents they are a registered sex offender and receives written authorization for the child to accompany them.
Police contacted and questioned Paulus about the situation.
“He admitted to the offense and stated he was unaware of the stipulation,” Atkinson said.
Paulus was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility. He was charged with a class A misdemeanor for being in the presence of child as a registered sex offender.
His bail pending trial stands at $5,000.
Paulus’ court arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 26.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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