LOGAN — A 27-year-old south Weber man is headed to prison for driving to Wellsville to “meet up” with a 15-year-old girl earlier this year. Tanner P. Clark was given the maximum sentence after apologizing for his actions.
Clark was sentenced during a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Wednesday, appearing by web conference from jail. He previously accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to two counts of enticing a minor by internet or text, a third-degree felony.
On Jan. 6, Clark drove to a church parking lot in Wellsville to meet the teenager in person. He drove away when the girl and her friends became suspicious of him.
The victim told deputies, Clark added her as a friend on SnapChat in December. He told her that he was 17-years-old and lived in Brigham City. About two weeks into the relationship, the suspect began asking her to send nude photographs to him, which she refused to do.
The girl stated that Clark messaged her earlier and asked to meet up. He told her that he wanted to drive around with his hand on her lap and that they could go where nobody else was.
Davis County Court records show, Clark was sentenced to 90 days in jail and probation, after pleading guilty to multiple counts of attempted sexual exploitation and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in 2018. On May 12, he was sentenced to another year in jail for violating his probation, due to the January arrest.
During Wednesday’s sentencing, defense attorney Joshua Baron asked the court to sentence Clark to jail instead of prison. He said his client’s crime was a “significant violation,” but only merited jail time so he could seek treatment.
Clark said he regretted his actions and the lives he affected. He expressed a desire to change and fix his life.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Dane Murray said Clark didn’t deserve a second chance and should be sentenced to prison.
Judge Brian Cannell agreed with prosecutors and said he was concerned for the public’s safety if Clark only served a year in jail. He ordered the defendant to serve two concurrent terms of up to 5-years in prison.