Former GOP Rep. Jon Stanard, a Utah lawmaker who voted for tougher penalties for prostitution, has resigned amid allegations that he used taxpayer money to pay for hotel rooms to hook up with an online escort.
Call girl Brie Taylor said Stanard paid her $250 for sex twice at the Fairfield Inn in Salt Lake City.
In November, Stanard asked Taylor if she could bring any “accessories” or “toys” perhaps a “corset.”
Taylor claimed he paid her $250 for the two one-hour sessions in June and August 2017, during which she said she performed oral sex on him and that they had intercourse.
House Chief of Staff Greg Hartley said the married Stanard, who has since resigned, was reimbursed for two hotel stays while he was attending legislative meetings at the state capital.
It has been reported that the dates and hotel names correspond with text messages.
“It looks like they were legislative days,” GOP House Speaker Greg Hughes said.
Hughes said he didn’t yet know if the House would ask Stanard to return the money.
“If there has been an abuse of public funds or if public funds were used in a way that’s inappropriate, we would,” he said. “I don’t have solid answers for those things. I would need to have a way that I would know conclusively that that is the case.”
It was not known if the House would be able to check whether Stanard used a state-issued cellphone to text Taylor. It appears that someone electronically wiped the phone, which no longer contains the messages.
Stanard, 43, who was elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 2012, has three children with his wife, LeeAnne.
In 2017, he voted in favor of stricter laws on prostitution, including raising the penalty for soliciting sex to $2,500.
“I am a strong advocate for conservative family values. I am pro-life, as well as for traditional marriage,” Stanard says on his website.
Stanard’s attorney Walter Bugden said: “Given the current climate in this country with misconduct allegations and the way things are happening in the media right now, there isn’t any explanation that my client could give that would overcome the shadow of these allegations.”
“He has resigned his office.”
Stanard said he stepped down to spend time with his father, who has terminal cancer.
Taylor who has a 10-year-old son, and claimed that Stanard first approached her on March 7, 2017.
“Looking at your website. Can you meet?” he allegedly wrote.
In one text, he added: “Would need to be tonight. Only in town a little. Anytime. Can do in or out. At the hotel in downtown SL.”
They exchanged several messages, but Taylor was unavailable. He texted her again the following month but she was again unavailable.
The first time the two met at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott in downtown Salt Lake City on June 20, 2017.
“I already knew who he was because I screen all my clients using a phone number service and I Googled him,” Taylor said. “I was surprised that he was using his real phone number. I thought that was kind of stupid but I knew he wasn’t a psycho so I met him.”
She described Stanard as a “gentleman.”
“We chatted just briefly and then I got changed out of what I was wearing into lingerie. Then the adult stuff started to happen,” she said, adding that they engaged in vaginal and anal intercourse.
“It was a one-hour session and it went pretty quickly, then the rest of it was chatting,” she added. “He said he never does this sort of stuff in St. George because it is really culturally strict down there.”
Stanard returned on a business trip later that summer and they met at the same hotel on Aug. 22 according to Taylor.
“He doesn’t drink so we didn’t do anything like that but during that session, they were trying to pass medical marijuana so we talked about that,” she said.
Screenshots show messages sent from Stanard’s phone in November when he asked about the sex toys.
“Are u only here for 1 night? My sister is not able to make tonight. If your available tomorrow at all I can discount my hour to $200,” she replied, according to the exchange, but he allegedly replied that he could not.
Stanard voted in favor of a bill that saw the crime of soliciting a prostitute reclassified from a class B misdemeanor to a class A in March 2017.
Taylor described his political stance as “hypocritical.”
“It was inevitable that he had to resign,” she told the site. “People here will be grossed out and appalled by this. They thought they knew him. I was surprised when I found out that he voted in favor of stricter laws.”
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