LOGAN — Cache County Executive David Zook has been very engaged with the Utah legislature during the current session along with the local representatives.
On KVNU’s monthly County Hour on Wednesday’s For the People program, he talked about one issue he feels strongly about that he brought up.
“One of the bills that I asked Senator (Chris) Wilson if he would run, is his SB 167, sexual exploitation amendments. This is about child pornography…and we actually were working with the Malouf Foundation, and we identified that we needed to toughen some of these penalties related to child pornography. The problem is the penalties there, they just don’t align with what the public would expect them to be,” he explained.
Zook said there was a recent local case that went through the FBI and ended up with the county prosecutors.
A lot of work went into tracking down the predator and he was convicted, but only got 30 days in jail. Zook said it’s a serious morale issue for law enforcement.
“How traumatic that is. They have to look at this evidence, they’re collecting it. They have to see this horrible material, and then for them to go through all that work and have somebody get a slap on the wrist like that, it’s not right. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The real problem is the child victims, the victims who are being depicted in these videos. That is ultimately what our cause is, and what we’re trying to fix, trying to stop.”
Another bill that Zook is supporting has to do with Utah State University’s Veterinary Program.
“They have a vet school right now, but they only do the first two years here then the students go to Washington for the second two years. They are making a bid right now to the legislature to have a full-fledged vet school here in Cache Valley. Which would be incredible for our community, for our economy, for our students, for vets.”
He said there is currently a shortage of vets in our community and state and there is actually not a veterinary school in the Intermountain West.
Zook said Utah State University would be ideal for a program like this as they are a leader in other animal sciences, genetics and bio-tech and this school would support all of these.