The Justice Files: Innocent in eyes of court but guilty in public

Justice Files

SALT LAKEL CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Jaden Priebe is having a hard time finding a job.

He said it’s not because he lacks skills but it’s due to his reputation being publicly destroyed.

Last February, Priebe was charged with two felonies in Duchesne County involving unlawful sex with a minor.  In addition, there was a misdemeanor charge involving the passing of a communicable (herpes) disease to the teen-age girl.

“They told me about the charges that she had pressed against me and I was like in shock,” said Priebe.  “I couldn’t fully understand it and why it could happen.”

After charges were filed, Priebe said word spread quickly in the community of Roosevelt.

The case also got attention statewide by media outlets in Salt Lake and Utah County.  Most of the headlines targeted the passing of the herpes virus.

Priebe recalled meeting the teen at a party with friends in Roosevelt.  He claimed there was no contact with her. 

“Nothing ever (developed),” he said. “(It’s) kind of hard to understand.  There wasn’t no talking or physical like that.”

Meanwhile on social media, Priebe claimed he was taking a beating.  He said some called him a rapist, a child molester and his reputation was damaged.

“That slandered my name,” he said.  “They posted it all over the place and it really hurts you know.”

But Priebe planned to prove his innocence.  He took a medical test to see if he was carrying herpes.

In September he got the results back and tested negative for the virus.

“I think she was looking for someone to blame,” Priebe said.  “That’s my honest opinion.  I think she was looking for somebody to blame.”

On November third, Priebe was back in court after informing his attorney and the prosecutor in Duchesne Count.  The state filed a motion to dismiss.

“If you don’t object to that motion then I will grant the motion by the state and order this case be dismissed,” said Judge Samuel Chiara.

The scales of justice finally tipped in Preibe’s favor but the damage had been done.

“What hurts the most is getting a job,” he said.  “I haven’t been able to get a job since this whole deal.

He said people are still treating him as if he was found guilty. 

“It wasn’t true,” Priebe said. “I want to move forward and start a new life and not be judged.”

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