Stock image, St. George News / Cedar City News
CEDAR CITY — A convicted sex offender accused of displaying his genitals and making lewd comments to employees at two Cedar City motels last year, has received a prison sentence of zero to five years.
Michael Kevin Crawford, 38, was sentenced Tuesday afternoon by 5th District Judge Ann Marie McIff Allen. Crawford made his court appearance virtually via videoconference from the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, where he is serving time for violating parole.
According to the statement filed in support of his arrest, Crawford was arrested by Cedar City Police on the morning of Aug. 8, 2021, after disturbances were reported at two separate motels on Main Street in the southern part of town.
Employees at both motels had called 911 within a short time of each other to report a man who was exposing his genitals and “behaving lewdly” despite being told multiple times to leave the property, according to the affidavit.
Soon thereafter, police officers caught up with the suspect, who by that point was clad only in a sheet, shortly after he had been seen defecating outside near a white truck.
“He was under the influence of an unknown controlled substance at the time of his arrest,” the arresting officer wrote in the affidavit, adding that Crawford admitted to being “high” during the incident.
Crawford, whose home address is listed as being in Salt Lake City, has been listed on the Utah’s official sex offender registry since 2006, when he was convicted of one count of aggravated sexual assault, a first-degree felony. He was paroled from prison in 2015.
During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Crawford received a prison term of 0-5 years for lewdness, a third-degree felony and a sentence of 365 days in jail for criminal trespassing, a class A misdemeanor. He had pleaded guilty to both counts in June as part of a plea agreement.
Following the recommendations of both the prosecution and the defense attorney, the court ordered that Crawford serve both terms concurrently with each other and with the time he is already serving in the state prison system. The judge also gave Crawford credit for time served since his arrest almost exactly one year ago, but noted that how much time he ultimately ends up serving in prison will be up to the Utah Board of Pardons.
Given a chance to address the court before the sentence was handed down, Crawford apologized for what he called his “senseless, stupid, foolish behavior.”
“I just want to take responsibility for what I did,” he said. “I don’t blame anybody or anything but myself. I wasn’t in my right state of mind. And that’s no excuse. I made the choice to take drugs and when you do drugs, you just lose control.”
Crawford then offered a “sincere apology to the primary victims who saw me in this deviant state of mind.”
“I’ve had a lot of time to do my best to move forward,” Crawford added. “And this correction, or whatever it is, I’m going to make the best of it.”
Just prior to handing down the sentence, Allen admonished Crawford to control his behavior.
“I don’t need to tell you, sir, this is despicable behavior that will not be tolerated,” Allen said. “You already know that. But when you say that you’re going to get a handle on it sooner or later, we need you to get a handle on it right now, or you’re going to continue to be in prison indefinitely. You don’t want that. I’m sure your family doesn’t want that. And no one really wants that. But that’s what’s going to have to happen if you don’t get a handle on this.”
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