CEDAR CITY — A Parowan man has been arrested and formally accused of unlawful sexual activity with a minor after allegedly admitting to having sex with a 16-year-old boy on five separate occasions.

Iron County Jail, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 25, 2024 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Chad Kay Robertson, 39, who is described in charging documents as being a volunteer youth basketball coach, was booked into Iron County Jail on Wednesday evening. Documents filed in 5th District Court on Friday accuse him of six third-degree felony charges: four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, one count of sexual activity with a minor and one count of dealing with materials harmful to a minor.

One of the alleged sexual encounters reportedly occurred before the boy turned 16, the affidavit indicates. Robertson also faces one count of enticing a minor, a class A misdemeanor.

Robertson made his initial appearance on Friday before 5th District Judge Ann Marie McIff Allen, who informed him of his right to counsel and ordered that he continue to be held without bail. Robertson’s next scheduled appearance is a waiver and detention review hearing scheduled for Monday before Judge Matthew L. Bell.

According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the charges, Robertson allegedly met the boy via a website designed to facilitate sexual encounters between adult males. The boy reportedly told investigators that he had lied about his age to create his profile account. He described the sexual encounters as having taken place in different locations, including in Robertson’s bedroom, living room, vehicle and at a park near his house.

The affidavit also states that Robertson attended a high school play in which the boy appeared. The boys told police that they made eye contact several times and that (Robertson) knew the boy was a high school student.

“He also stated that their sexual relationship continued after the minor believed Chad knew he was under the age of 18,” the affidavit alleges.

The affidavit describes Robertson’s interview with police as follows:

Officers went to Chad’s home … in Parowan and made contact with Chad. Chad was read his rights per Miranda and chose to speak with me. Chad admitted to having sex with the 16 year old juvenile on five separate occasions. While speaking with Chad it was determined the juvenile was 15 years old during one of the encounters. Chad admitted also to sending nude photographs of himself to the juvenile.

Without directly addressing the specifics of the case, Deputy Iron County Attorney Trajan Evans spoke to Cedar City News on Friday and clarified the legal basis for such types of criminal charges involving minors.

According to Utah Code, “it is not a defense to the crime of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, that the actor mistakenly believed the victim to be 18 years old or older at the time of the alleged offense or was unaware of the victim’s true age.”

In other words, Evans said, it does not matter whether a minor’s actual age is known by the other party.

“Essentially, our Legislature has deemed that it’s on the adult in this scenario to verify the age of their sexual partner in cases involving strict liability,” Evans explained.

The boy also disclosed to police that he believed he had contracted a sexually transmitted disease from Robertson, according to the affidavit. 

Police obtained a search warrant in order to retrieve images and messages from the minor’s cell phone, which reportedly corroborated his statements.

“I am requesting no bail be granted due to the danger he poses to the youth in Parowan,” the arresting officer wrote in the affidavit.

Due to a reported conflict of interest, the case is being investigated by Cedar City Police.

This report is based on statements from court documents and law enforcement officials and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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