Utah man arrested for rape of child after toddler diagnosed with STI
SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah man was arrested this week on suspicion of child rape after the victim was found to have had a sexually transmitted infection when he was two years old in 2021.
Steven Johnson, 25, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail this week after being arrested by the Third Circuit Court.
The toddler was first taken to a hospital in February 2021 after her mother noticed some physical irregularities. After an examination, a doctor at Primary Children’s Hospital said the little girl had tested positive for gonorrhea. The doctor told police that the only way possible was through sexual contact and that the disease was “conclusive evidence of sexual abuse”.
Prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence at the time to advance a person’s prosecution. On January 17 of this year, an officer with the West Valley Police Department received a call from someone who said they had video of Johnson confessing to sexually abusing the child.
Investigators found Johnson was recorded on December 29, 2021 explaining how he had abused the child and stating that he must have contracted gonorrhea from someone he was dating at the time. The video, over 20 minutes long, was uploaded and presented as evidence.
The person who took the video said they waited to report it because “they didn’t want to cause any further trauma to the victim.”
Police arranged for a recorded phone call with the victim’s mother and Johnson, during which he admitted to sexually abusing the girl and apologized. He also texted the victim’s mother, explaining, “I have sins to confess.”
Police arrested Johnson and questioned him. Documents state that after being informed of his Miranda rights, he admitted to twice molesting the child. Police arrested him on January 31, and probable cause documents said he would pose a potential escape risk and a danger to the victim and the public if released.
If you think a child or adult is at risk, including sexual assault, call 9-1-1.
If you have experienced sexual violence, you can access help and resources over the phone Utah’s 24-hour sexual violence hotline at 1-801-736-4356 (English) or 1-801-924-0860 (Spanish). You can also call Rape center office phone during office hours at 801-467-7282 or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 for a free, confidential consultation.