State v. Hatchett, 040920 UTCA, 20181042-CA

Docket Nº:20181042-CA
Opinion Judge:ORME, JUDGE.
Party Name:State of Utah, Appellee, v. Ronald Lindsey Hatchett, Appellant.
Attorney:Douglas J. Thompson and Margaret P. Lindsay, Attorneys for Appellant Sean D. Reyes and David A. Simpson, Attorneys for Appellee
Judge Panel:Judge Gregory K. Orme authored this Opinion, in which Judges David N. Mortensen and Jill M. Pohlman concurred.
Case Date:April 09, 2020
Court:Court of Appeals of Utah
 
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2020 UT App 61

State of Utah, Appellee,

v.

Ronald Lindsey Hatchett, Appellant.

No. 20181042-CA

Court of Appeals of Utah

April 9, 2020

Fourth District Court, Provo Department The Honorable Derek P. Pullan No. 171400638

Douglas J. Thompson and Margaret P. Lindsay, Attorneys for Appellant

Sean D. Reyes and David A. Simpson, Attorneys for Appellee

Judge Gregory K. Orme authored this Opinion, in which Judges David N. Mortensen and Jill M. Pohlman concurred.

OPINION

ORME, JUDGE.

¶1 Ronald Lindsey Hatchett appeals his two convictions for enticement of a minor, arguing that the district court erred in denying his motion to dismiss on the ground that he was entrapped. He argues that law enforcement "created a substantial risk that the offense of enticement would occur" when a special agent, posing as a 13-year-old boy, responded to Hatchett's advertisement in the Craigslist personals section. We disagree and affirm his convictions.

BACKGROUND1

¶2 In anticipation of an upcoming visit to Utah, Hatchett posted an advertisement on Craigslist in the "men seeking men" personals section entitled "Dad looking for Son (Provo)." The advertisement read: Hey Guys,

I am coming in for the weekend and am looking for a 18-25 year old guy to party and play with. I am a 50 yr old 6'2'' 230 lb 6'' thick cock HIV and STD free and you must be also. I would love to party, and if you have a connect for Coke or whatever that would be fantastic and play. I am vers and love kissing, sucking, being sucked, ass and nipple play and fucking. I will be in Saturday and will leave Monday so if you want to spend the night that would be fun. Hit me up and let's plan something out!

¶3 The advertisement caught the attention of a special agent (Special Agent) in the Utah Attorney General's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Posing as "Cade, "2 Special Agent responded to the ad: "saw ur post how yung is 2 yung." The following conversation then ensued via email: [Hatchett:] How old are you?

[Cade:] old enuff 2 no what i want, middle school but lik coke

[Hatchett:] Nice. Do you have a connect?[[3] What are your stats? What are you into?

[Cade:] i wish

[Hatchett:] So what are your stats and what are you into?

[Cade:] almost 14 m whatever

[Hatchett:] Nice. How tall, weight?

[Cade:] idk average thin

[Hatchett:] Nice. If we do meet up it would have to be our little secret. You a top?[[4

Do you like to drink? What other kind of things do you like to do when you party? Do you smoke anything.

[Cade:] ya what do u want 2 do

[Hatchett:] Party and whatever happens happens

[Cade:] thats cool i would need to sneak out tho

As the conversation continued, Hatchett asked whether Cade was "gay or just curious" and stated, "It would be fun to at least party" with Cade during his upcoming visit to Provo, immediately followed by the query, "You aren't a cop right?" Cade replied, "ya right r u dont want 2 get in trouble," which appeared to satisfy Hatchett's concern.

¶4 After they eventually exchanged phone numbers, Hatchett and Cade continued to communicate for several weeks. Hatchett initiated at least sixteen text-message and three telephone conversations with Cade, while Cade initiated two text-message conversations, one of which occurred on the morning of Hatchett's eventual arrest. Whenever Hatchett asked Cade what he wanted to do when they met up, Cade would respond evasively by stating that he did not know. Cade never proposed specific sex acts. Hatchett, on the other hand, repeatedly steered their conversations in a sexual direction. For example: • "Ectacy is real cool to. Makes you feel up and horney as hell. Lol."

• "I think we should party for a bit maybe smoke some weed and drink a couple of beers while we get to know each other and then lay on the bed and kiss and get naked and cuddle. Once you are comfortable we might give each other a bj [i.e., blow job] or whatever you feel comfortable doing."

• "I think we will party and maybe kiss and get naked in bed and see what happens."

• "I am nice. I have never done anything with a guy as young as you but it's kind of exciting."

• "We just have to keep it on the down low. Lol. I don't want to end up in jail. Hahaha."

• "What ever you want. Bj's and maybe more if you want and it goes there. It's all up to yourself. Get naked and explore each other's bodies. Maybe. This is making me very scared. Your not a cop right?"

Hatchett also asked Cade to give measurements and send pictures of his genitals, which Cade did not do. Hatchett also offered to procure alcohol and drugs for their expected encounter.

¶5 Law enforcement arrested Hatchett when he arrived at the gas station in Provo where he and Cade had arranged to meet. He subsequently admitted to bringing cocaine and ecstasy with him and consented to a search of his hotel room. The search revealed pills, "a pipe with marijuana residue," and substances that were later determined to be cocaine and methamphetamine.

¶6 The State charged Hatchett with two counts of enticement of a minor and one count each of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. Asserting the defense of entrapment, Hatchett moved the district court to dismiss the charges against him.

¶7 At the evidentiary hearing on the motion, Hatchett testified that "son" in the gay community "is used as a term saying that you're looking for someone that is younger than your age" but not necessarily a minor. He also testified...

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