Man faces 13 felonies for allegedly having sex with underage prostitute in St. George

ST. GEORGE — A Las Vegas man is facing 13 felony charges after allegedly having sexual contact with an underage prostitute while visiting Southern Utah late last year. 

Darrell Eugene Hopper, 31, booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah, May 22, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Darrell Eugene Hopper, 31, was arrested by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on May 10 after a warrant was issued for his arrest regarding his involvement in a prostitution case, according to the probable cause statement written in support of his arrest. 

Police discovered Hopper’s involvement when investigators looking into a prostitution case in Las Vegas came across a 17-year-old girl who was “being used for the purposes of prostitution,” according to the statement. 

Once Hopper was in police custody, he was shown a photo of the girl and admitted that he had traveled with her from Las Vegas to St. George where they stayed in a hotel together from Nov. 18 to Dec. 8. 

Police say he admitted to having a sexual relationship with the girl and that they had sexual contact at least once a day during their stay. 

The girl was positively identified as being a runaway juvenile from the Las Vegas area. 

Hopper is charged with one first-degree felony count of aggravated exploitation of a child prostitute and 12 third-degree felony counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old.

Hopper pleaded not guilty to all 13 charges on July 10 and had a preliminary hearing Monday at the 5th District Court in St. George before Judge G. Michael Westfall. Hopper’s trial is set for Oct. 28.

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