St. George Police investigation leads to suspected teen abuser

Stock photo.| Photo by Ulrike Mai/iPixabay, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A suspect accused of sexually abusing a child surrendered himself to St. George Police detectives following a monthslong investigation that spanned from St. George to the Salt Lake City area.

2014 file photo of 5th District Court in St. George, Utah | Photo by St. George News

Last Tuesday, 34-year-old Tyler Hyrske of Sandy was arrested at the St. George Police Department and then transported to jail in Washington County on several sex offenses.

According to court documents filed in 5th District Court, the investigation was opened in November when authorities received a report that an adolescent girl had been sexually molested by the suspect.

During an interview with police in December, the child recounted multiple instances of Hyrske initiating sexual contact or touching her inappropriately. The child also told officers the abuse went on for several months.

The report also states that months before the call to police, the girl disclosed the abuse to a family member who then confronted the suspect about the abuse, which is when Hyrske reportedly admitted to touching the child and said he wanted help and agreed to seek therapy, the family member told police.

The suspect also allegedly admitted to another relative that he had abused the child, and shortly thereafter Hyrske moved to the Salt Lake City area to enroll in a therapy program and eventually ceased all communication with the affected parties in St. George.

Investigators were also provided text messages to one of the suspect’s relatives up north who only relayed that Hyrske was “still actively in therapy,” the officer noted, but would provide no further details.

When officers in St. George attempted to contact that same relative in northern Utah who had information on Hyrske, the individual would not provide the name of the therapy program or any other information on the suspect’s whereabouts to police, saying “she didn’t want to talk to me,” the detective wrote.

Cottonwood Heights Police Department on Bengal Road in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, June 2019 | Photo courtesy of Google Maps, St. George News

As the investigation continued, officers obtained phone numbers for the suspect, but all attempts to make contact with Hyrske were unsuccessful. Detectives then reached out to the Cottonwood Heights Police Department for assistance in locating the suspect, which is when detectives in St. George learned that Hyrske was in regular contact with the family member they had spoken to earlier.

Detectives also learned that Hyrske had retained an attorney, Thomas Weber, a defense attorney out of Draper, who told officers that his client would not be making any statements on the matter.

Arrangements were then made for Hyrske to surrender himself at the St. George Police Department. On Tuesday the suspect arrived and was taken into custody by police shortly after 3 p.m. and was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility shortly after 3 p.m.

Hyrske was formally charged with three first-degree felony counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child the following day.

Detectives also noted there were mitigating factors in the case, one of which was that Hyrske held a position of trust in the child’s life, which enhanced the sexual abuse charges to a first-degree felony.

On Wednesday, Weber waived the initial appearance and entered a “not guilty” plea on behalf of his client who remains in custody without bail.

Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.  

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders 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.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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