Police arrest 7 men accused of attempting to meet boys, girls for sex

Stock image | Photo by Chalabala via iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE Seven men who were arrested in Washington County during a five-day undercover operation have been charged with attempting to set up a rendezvous with a minor for sex.

The men have been charged in separate cases and each faces a second-degree felony of enticing a minor through electronic means. According to court records, the men believed they were either speaking to a juvenile boy or girl online but who were actually undercover agents.

The operation took place between Wednesday and Saturday, with court records related to the resulting arrests sealed by the 5th District Court at the request of the Washington County Attorney’s Office until the operation concluded.

Undercover officers will be conducting a large series of sting operations designed to identify individuals suspected of violating Utah laws targeting child enticements and sexual exploitation of minors,” Deputy Washington County Attorney Ryan Shaum wrote in the motion requesting court records be temporarily sealed so ongoing investigations wouldn’t be jeopardized.

The operation was conducted by the Utah Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Washington County Attorney’s Office.

Because aspects of the operation are subject to ongoing investigations, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office would not comment on details related to the arrests and referred St. George News to the Utah Attorney General’s Office. A call to the office was not returned by the time of publication.

The suspects involved in the operation were arrested by authorities when they reached the locations where they thought they were meeting with a juvenile. Each was charged with a second-degree felony related to enticing a minor. Two of the men received additional charges as noted below.

The suspects are:

  • Robert Reed Nuzman, 58, of Hurricane.
  • Kraig Atkin Powell, 25, of St. George.
  • John Spange, 61, of St. George.
  • Ted Anthony Summerhays, 58, of Santa Clara.
  • Harry Leonard Taylor, 41, of Cedar City.
  • Ross Robert Woolsey, 49, of Hurricane. Woolsey was charged with an additional felonies for enticing a minor and dealing in harmful materials to a minor.
  • James Allen Wynhoff, 36, of Las Vegas. Wynhoff faces additional felony and a misdemeanor related to drug possession and drug paraphernalia.
Top row from left: Robert Reed Nuzman, Harry Leonard Taylor, Ted Anthony Summerhays, Ross Robert Woolsey. Bottom row from left: John Spange, James Allen Wynhoff, Kraig Atkin Powell, booking photos, November 2018 | Photos courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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21 Comments

  • xbcmc059 November 20, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Which one is the Bishop?

    • Comment November 20, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      maybe all of them. lol

      • Comment November 20, 2018 at 8:22 pm

        no, number 1, 6, and 7 don’t look like bishop material.

    • AnotherReader November 21, 2018 at 9:19 am

      If by bishop you mean which one is your dad, only your mother knows.

  • Kilroywashere November 20, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Hmmmm, I thought I saw Chris Hansen the other day at the mall.

  • Comment November 20, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    I have mixed feelings about these sorts of busts. I’d bet most of these guys would never dream of skulking around a jr high school trying to lure kids into there cars. But you put up these profiles on these date apps that are “13 year olds”, and it’s extremely easy for adults look for sex to begin communication with the “13 year olds”. And in a lot of these cases you’ve got “13 year olds” engaging in quite explicit sexual conversations and then agreeing to meet. It’s most definitely an opportunistic thing to do, but I have to question whether most of the men could actually be classified as “sexual predators”. In no way am I saying it’s ok to set up something with an actual 13, but a lot of the guys may have been “baited in” quite aggressively by police.

    I remember a few of there busts were something like this scenario: a mom prostituting her 13 year old daughter over the internet for drug money or something. That adds a whole new layer of depravity to the situation and shows predatory intent by the perps.

    Anyway, glad it’s not my photo up there. That’s extremely embarrassing/shameful. And maybe they are predators…

    • Kilroywashere November 20, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      Guess you’re not a fan of Dateline Comments. But using logic, what if these dudes went about their biz and your kid was targetted? Perspective, and thus I have no sympathy here. Yeah, they got their 5 mins of fame in the local news, but a year from now they will be a mouse clicking icon on the Megan’s law website and forgotten by most of the community. Not that bad of an outcome. Intent is INTENT.

      • Comment November 20, 2018 at 11:01 pm

        Yeah, my sympathy has it’s limits. I’m not gonna rush to the defense of any of these, bc I don’t know the details of how they were lured by the “13 year olds”. I’m glad I’m not raising a tweenage daughter in the smartphone era, because I’m familiar with some of the things they do on these phones. and It is a real shame they couldn’t get chris hansen down here.

    • Redbud November 20, 2018 at 10:26 pm

      I’ll agree with you that they were “baited” in a way, but I think this is a great way for law enforcement to find them before they cause harm to a child. How else would they find these people? Better to take care of it now, then just sit back and let these crazy people so whatever they want.

      • Comment November 21, 2018 at 3:18 pm

        I sometimes wonder if the supply of men who would do this sort of thing is actually unlimited. One they did awhile back had men driving all the way to SO. UT from parts of idaho.

    • Natalya November 20, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      Your comment removes blame from the offenders and places it on the children. Think about that for a second. Do you really want to sympathize with child predators?

      • Comment November 21, 2018 at 3:24 pm

        It’s a complicated issue. It’s likely none of these men will do serious prison time or even more than a few mos. in jail. They’ll be back in the community fairly quickly. They may end up sitting next to you at your and their kid’s or grandkid’s ballgame or something. That is, if they aren’t restricted from that by their newly minted sex offender status. Like I said, these are likely very ordinary men.

    • Errol November 21, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      Whether a person was. “Baited” or not, even id there was promise of sex, the simple fact that an adult was persuing a minor is by definition, a predator. Its wilfully intent.

  • htown November 20, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Glad it wasn’t the dentist and the Dixie football coach again for solicitation of a prostitute.

  • Carpe Diem November 21, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Good bust! And a good start. Can we make this a semi-annual event? Say, the holidays and then once again at the end of school when kids are excited to get out of school. Just keep going till we get most of the few dozen creeper child predators that roam around. I dont care WHERE you are, THEY are there.

  • LunchboxHero November 21, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Yikes, those are some scary, ugly looking mugshots. Thank goodness no child was subjected to that mess.

    • Comment November 21, 2018 at 11:46 am

      They look quite ordinary. Not surprising if most are married with families. That’s actually what usually stands out most about these type of busts is just how ordinary the men tend to be.

  • jpff November 21, 2018 at 9:56 am

    After having seen some texts a guy sent to my then 14-yr-old grand daughter a while back, I am grateful these guys were stopped. I feel bad for them and their families, but they made choices. Baited or not, a responsible adult is not going to proceed with attempting to meet for intimate moments with children.

    • Comment November 21, 2018 at 11:50 am

      It’s the type of thing curious teens and tweens do on smartphones. For some reason they often find ways to connect with pedophiles. If they put themselves on these dating and hookup apps it’s almost a certainty. They don’t really understand the consequences of what they do online.

      • DRT November 21, 2018 at 3:26 pm

        The thing is, why would any adult, (other than perhaps a parent checking up on their own kid,) even look at a kid. Dating site or hookup app or not, an adult has to be a bit bent mentally to try to connect with a teen.

        • Comment November 21, 2018 at 4:26 pm

          Well, judging by these busts like this, apparently there are quite a few older men than want to have sex with young teens, even in good ol’ ‘Suddern’ Utah. Don’t know what to tell you other than that. You tell me? I guess you could ask these men in these mugshots? Think you’d get a straight answer?

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