Utah County (ABC4) – A man convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl was sentenced to just 20 days in prison and less than a year later, he’s facing charges for allegedly targeting a 16-year-old for sex.
Tyler Erickson was 20 when he sexually abused the 12-year-old girl. He was sentenced to 10 weekends in prison, or 20 days, along with 10 years of probation.
Earlier this month, he was charged with attempting unlawful sexual conduct with a 16-year-old.
“Tyler Erickson, within Utah County, used the internet and text messaging to solicit, seduce lure or entice an individual Tyler believed to be a 16-year-old girl,” the affidavit of probable cause reads.
Erickson is now 23.
“There are so many cases out there, and judges have to decide which ones should go to prison immediately and which ones don’t,” said Kent Morgan, a former assistant chief prosecutor with Salt Lake County.
Morgan says a judge might have considered Erickson’s age at the time of 20 and the fact that he had no prior history.
But after Summit County prosecutors brought the charges, the judge’s sentencing last year drew a harsh rebuke from Summit County Prosecutor Margaret Olson who criticized the sentence as far too lenient.
“Judges are good people, they certainly do their best,” said Morgan. “But they’re not perfect and they can’t do everything right the first time, every time.”
“Do we fill up the prisons with all sex offenders? And leave everybody else out?” asked Morgan. “Sex offense is a terrible crime, but it’s not the only terrible crime that’s out there.”