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Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 20, 2020

Today we honor the undying legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most influential civil rights activists and leaders in our nation’s history. Dr. King’s life and work paved the way for social change as he championed equality and the end to racial segregation and discrimination.

Dr. King is known worldwide for his courage, conviction, and commitment to his dream: Equal treatment for all. 

His eloquence and charisma combined with his deep-rooted convictions enshrined Dr. King as one of the most impactful proponents for the rights set forth by the Constitution:  “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. 

His steadfast belief in peaceful protests set the tone for the Civil Rights Movement and has left an indelible impact on the world.

Dr. King said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Today and every day, the Utah Attorney General’s Office reaffirms its commitment to fight for justice on behalf of all people in the great State of Utah, as we strive to exemplify the principles set forth by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


West High Students Recognized for Saving the Life of Assistant AG

January 17, 2020

Today, during West High School’s annual winter sports assembly, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and Assistant Attorney General David Carlson recognized Felix Ortiz and Grant Dunkley, two students who saved the life of Carlson last year.

On February 19, 2019, Felix Ortiz and Grant Dunkley both pulled over after Carlson was involved in a serious car accident. Ortiz and Dunkley pulled Carlson from his overturned car on the 600 North bridge in Salt Lake City where they performed life-saving CPR until first responders arrived on the scene.  

Carlson’s recovery has been slow but steady, and until today, Carlson, Ortiz, and Dunkley had not met. Carlson, joined by his wife and family, expressed his gratitude to Ortiz and Dunkley for their quick-thinking and heroics that day.

Broadcast originally aired on Fox 13 News.


AG Reyes Statement on Retirement of Rep. Patrice Arent

January 16, 2020

Today, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes released the following statement on the retirement of Patrice Arent at the end of 2020:

“Patrice Arent has been an incredible influence in her time at the Utah Attorney General’s Office and in the Utah’s Legislature the past 20 years. Many in our office know her personally and appreciate the friendship they have shared with her. Her steadfast commitment to the betterment of the people and communities of this great state is evident in her public service and in the legislation she has passed. Patrice’s work and achievements have blazed trails for women and the Jewish community, and she has been an extraordinary example for volunteer service. She will leave an indelible legacy in the lives of those she worked with and for those to come. We wish Patrice and her family the best as she moves on to the chapters ahead.”


Register for the 2020 Human Trafficking Symposium

January 15, 2020

The Utah Attorney General’s Utah Trafficking in Persons (UTIP) Task Force, along with the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law Social Justice Student Initiative (SJSI), invite you to attend the annual Human Trafficking Symposium on January 24, 2020.

The Symposium will feature Julie Dahlstrom, JD, Director of Boston University Law’s Immigrants’ Rights and Human Trafficking Program as a keynote speaker, a panel, and breakout sessions about human trafficking in Utah including perspectives from attorneys, case managers, law enforcement, and medical providers based around this year’s theme of a victim-centered approach.

The event is free or $12 for a lunch option. University students, faculty, and staff are free with proof of university ID.

Registration is required: http://bit.ly/SJQHTS2020

Click here to download the 2020 Human Trafficking Symposium Agenda

4.5 hours of Utah CLE (pending).

Paid parking is available at Rice-Eccles Stadium by purchasing a day pass. We encourage you to use public transportation to our events. Take TRAX University line to the Stadium stop and walk a half block north. For other public transit options use UTA’s Trip Planner. The law school is on the Red Route for the University’s free campus shuttles (College of Law stop).

For questions about the event contact Haylee (801) 587-7890.


AG Reyes Joins Department of Justice’s Summit on Combating Human Trafficking

January 14, 2020

WASHINGTON D.C. — Utah actively works with other states and the Department of Justice to fight the onslaught of human trafficking-related issues that occur every day. Today, the Department of Justice hosted a Summit on Combating Human Trafficking where Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes addressed the cooperation that is necessary in order to fight violations of human rights that occur both behind closed doors and in public.

States like Utah are leading the charge to arrest the perpetrators of heinous crimes like slavery, sexual exploitation, child labor, forced labor, debt bondage and forced marriage. At the conference, Attorney General Reyes addressed his work with the legislature to change state laws in order to deal with these crimes. He outlined ways that the Attorney General’s Office partners with various state service organizations to help people get out of these desperate situations.

This work is extremely difficult and continuous. With financial assistance in the form of grant funding provided by the Department of Justice, the Utah Attorney General’s office is able to devote significant resources to investigating and prosecuting these crimes.

In 2019, there were several trafficking arrests and prosecutions, most notably: Joseph Moore, who was sentenced to two terms of five years up to life in prison for sex trafficking a 16-year-old child and exploiting his own adult daughter for prostitution. Moore was convicted of Human Trafficking, Aggravated Exploitation of Prostitution Involving a Child, and Exploitation of Prostitution, after a three-day jury trial

Also last year, James Savage Brown was convicted and sentenced to the maximum sentence on each of eight counts of human trafficking-related charges included Aggravated Human Trafficking, Aggravated Kidnapping, Rape, Forcible Sodomy, Aggravated Exploitation of Prostitution and Tampering with a witness.

The value of the partnerships with other states and the Department of Justice cannot be overstated. The crimes are heinous, and the perpetrators are elusive. We fully pledge to continue to investigate these cases and prosecute those involved to the fullest extent of the law.


Get Involved for Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January 11, 2020

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and today, January 11, is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. As of this moment, there are dozens of people in Utah and thousands across the nation who are suffering the physical and mental anguish of being imprisoned in plain sight.

The human trafficking industry generates approximately $150 billion each year and has an estimated 40.3 million victims world-wide, even in the State of Utah.

Human trafficking is a pervasive and horrific violation of human rights that strips victims of innocence, hope, and dignity. Men, women, and children of any sexual orientation, race, gender, nationality, and from all backgrounds and communities – urban or rural – are trafficked each year.

Traffickers use a number of ways to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sex, including force, fraud, or coercion. They may use violence, manipulation, or false promises of a romantic relationship or a well-paying job. Traffickers use “invisible ropes” that involve complex manipulative tactics to control their victims, despite the popular portrayal in books and movies that traffickers use handcuffs, chains, cages, and locked rooms. A victim’s trauma may be so great that they may not identify as a victim and will not ask for help. Language barriers, fear of traffickers, and fear of law enforcement may prevent a victim from speaking out.

Human trafficking is a fast-growing, transnational epidemic. The Utah Attorney General’s Office through its Utah Trafficking in Persons (UTIP) Task Force and SECURE Strike Force, along with many partner agencies, aggressively fight against trafficking in all its forms. In 2018, the Utah Attorney General’s Office conducted 49 human trafficking investigations, prosecuted 8 cases, and served 44 victims. Utah has made great strides to combat trafficking and was recently ranked among the top in the nation for its dedication to the fight against minor sex trafficking. Despite this, there is still much work to be done.

The AG’s Office invites Utahns this January to get involved. Learn the signs of human trafficking and how to report it here. Register for the free Annual UTIP Human Trafficking Symposium by the AG’s Office at the University of Utah on January 24, to learn about human trafficking from the perspective of attorneys, case managers, law enforcement, and medical providers. Utahns can also report tips regarding human trafficking to the Utah Attorney General’s Office:

  • Utah Human Trafficking Tipline: 801-200-3443
  • Internet Crimes Against Children Tipline: 801-281-1211

The AG’s Office would like to thank our partners in the fight against human trafficking:

  • Adult Probation and Parole/Department of Corrections
  • Backyard Broadcast
  • Bountiful Police Department
  • Children’s Justice Center
  • Davis County Sheriff’s Office
  • Division of Child and Family Services
  • The Department of Justice
  • Department of Public Safety/Utah Statewide Information and Analysis Center
  • doTerra
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations-Salt Lake City
  • Fight the New Drug
  • Homeland Security Investigations- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Juvenile Justice Services
  • Malouf Foundation
  • Ogden Police Department
  • Operation Underground Railroad
  • Orem Police Department
  • Park City Police Department
  • Refugee & Immigrant Center – Asian Association of Utah
  • Restoring Ancestral Winds
  • Safe Harbor
  • Salt Lake City Police Department
  • SHEROES United
  • South Valley Services
  • The Road Home
  • Unified Police Department
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service
  • Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault
  • Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic
  • Utah Domestic Violence Coalition
  • Utah Legal Services
  • Utah Office for Victims of Crime
  • Various professionals from the medical community
  • West Jordan Police Department
  • West Valley Police Department
  • West Wendover Police Department
  • YCC Family Crisis Center
  • 3 Strands Global Foundation
  • 4th Street Clinic

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

January 9, 2020

Today in honor of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, we at the Utah Attorney General’s Office express our gratitude and support of the public servants who have chosen to put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities and families safe.

There are approximately 17,985 U.S. police agencies in the United States which include City Police Departments, County Sheriff’s Offices, State Police/Highway Patrol and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies. Each of these local, state, and federal members of law enforcement often perform demanding, thankless work that takes them away from their families. Officers often respond to and witness some of the most tragic events in our communities such as murder, suicide, and domestic violence. We are grateful for the dedication and hard work performed by these officers, that has lasting, positive impacts in our communities.

To all the men and women in uniform who selflessly sacrifice their time to protect and serve – thank you.


TRACED Act Signed Into Law, Will Provide Protection Against Robocalls

January 3, 2020

On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump signed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act into law. This legislation addresses the concerns raised by American consumers and will stiffen penalties, increase transparency, and enhance government collaboration to provide protection against and end the proliferation of illegal, unsolicited robocalls.

In March 2019, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined with 54 attorneys general in sending a letter to Congress to express support for the TRACED Act. The attorneys general applauded the requirement that voice service providers must participate in the call authentication framework, and the prioritization of timely, industry-wide implementation of these protocols.

From the letter to Congress:

“We believe that this legislation effectively addresses many of the concerns raised by federal regulators, voice service providers, private businesses, consumer advocacy groups, and other interested parties to combat illegal robocalls and spoofing, and we are heartened that it enables the telecom industry, federal regulators, and our offices to take meaningful steps to abate the rapid proliferation of these illegal and unwanted robocalls.”

Robocalls increased in the U.S. by 57% from 2017 to 2018. In 2018, it was estimated that the number of illegal robocalls reached almost 48 billion.

“Robocalls have become more than just a persistent disruption in the lives of Utahns. So many of these calls are, at best, a vexatious nuisance or, at worst, a scam. I commend President Trump and Congress working together to provide protection and relief for all of us against illegal robocalls,” said Attorney General Reyes. “My office and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection receive numerous complaints each month and far too many Utahans are victimized by these illegal robocalls. The TRACED Act finally gives criminal enforcement authority to regulators to deter robodial abuses and return control of phone lines to everyday Americans.”

Read the TRACED Act here.


2020 Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

January 2, 2020

The Utah Attorney General’s Office invites fifth graders to participate in the 2020 National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest.

The National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest is a nationwide contest hosted by the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention, designed to promote awareness among teachers, parents/guardians, and children and engage them in discussions about safety.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office will select a winner on the state level who will be honored in a ceremony with Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and will receive a certificate from the Department of Justice. Their poster will then be submitted to the national judging competition.

The national winner will win a trip for themselves, their parents, and their teacher to Washington, D.C. to be honored at the National Missing Children‛s Day Ceremony on May 20, 2020.

Contest Rules

  1. Applicants must be in the fifth grade.
  2. Artwork should reflect the theme “Bringing Our Missing Children Home”. This phrase must appear somewhere on the poster.
  3. The theme may be depicted in the student‛s artwork through one, or a combination of, illustrations (e.g., signs and symbols, people, abstract, industry, wildlife) and can be created using media such as acrylics, watercolor, pencils, charcoal, magic markers, spray paint, crayons, and pastels. Digitally produced images, collages, cut-outs, and stamping will not be eligible for consideration.
  4. The finished poster must measure 8½ x 14 inches.
  5. The poster must be submitted with a completed application, which includes a description of the poster and a brief biography of the artist, either typed or written legibly.

Judging Criteria:

  1. Complete contest rules must be followed at all levels of the competition. Incomplete packages and incorrectly sized posters will not be eligible for judging.
  2. Artwork will be judged on:
    a. Creativity
    b. Reflection of the contest theme
    c. Originality in design
  3. Written applications will be judged on:
    a. Comprehension of the theme
    b. Clarity
    c. Grammar and syntax appropriate to the fifth-grade level

To participate, posters should be mailed or dropped off to:

Utah Attorney General’s Office
Attn: Michelle Busch-Upwall
5272 College Dr., Ste. 200
Murray, UT 84123

All entries from the State of Utah must be submitted to the address above by February 21, 2020.

The application can be found below:

The contest packet, including contact information and fact sheet, can be found here:


Happy Holidays from Attorney General Reyes

December 25, 2019

Today, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes released the following statement to share his well-wishes for Happy Holidays:

“My wife Saysha and I would like to wish everyone peace and blessings this holiday season.

“To our friends like us celebrating the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ, to those friends observing the Festival of Lights and re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and to friends commemorating other special events or simply the renewal of the year, may you enjoy health, happiness, love, light, and prosperity in 2020.

“We want to express our particular gratitude to all of our men and women in uniform (military and first responders) and their families for their service and sacrifice in defending our nation, freedoms, laws, and our lives.

“And to all Utahns here and abroad, travel safely and enjoy the special time with family.”


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