SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A stalking injunction was upheld Friday against Gov. Gary Herbert's 41-year-old son, who has been accused of bothering two women over a span of about five years.
The Utah Court of Appeals held that one Orem woman, Aiona Butters, had good reason to fear Nathan Herbert, who was accused of staring intently at the woman and of circling her car on foot.
"Herbert's confrontations with Butters clearly constitute a course of conduct as defined by the stalking statute," said the court, which dismissed Herbert's protests that the injunction was unwarranted.
"Moreover, Herbert's course of conduct would have caused a reasonable person in Butters's situation to fear for her safety," the three-judge panel said. "We affirm the district court's imposition of a three-year stalking injunction and award Butters her reasonable attorney fees incurred on appeal."
Nathan Herbert challenged the injunction at a 4th District Court hearing and appealed when he lost.
The appeals court said the stalking goes back to 2004 when Herbert was dating Butter's sister. Both women, now married, eventually obtained stalking injunctions until 2009.
A month later, Aiona Butters told police Nathan Herbert was bothering her again, at University Mall, the Orem Public Library and at her gym. Each encounter left her fearful and in tears, she testified at a November 2010 hearing.
Nathan Gary Herbert has consistently maintained the allegations are false. His original attorney, Scott Card, and appeals attorneys Michael Petro and Sara Lucas didn't return phone messages Friday from The Associated Press.
Court records show the last time Nathan Herbert was accused of stalking was Aug. 4, 2010.
Gov. Herbert has said the allegations against his son are without merit. His mother, Jeanette Herbert, sat with him during the 4th District hearing where the family offered their own witnesses.
Nathan Herbert's cousin, Christopher Carlson, and aunt, Karina Herbert, both testified they did not see Nathan Herbert engage in any untoward behavior at a local gym where he was accused of leering at Butters.
Butters had sought a permanent injunction against Nathan Herbert, but it isn't clear if that order was ever issued. The case was sealed without explanation in April, according to court records.
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