Former Southern Utah GOP official pleads guilty to paying for sex

A stock image shows a man preparing to pay cash. | Photo by kirisa99/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A former Southern Utah GOP official who was arrested in February after a prostitution sting by St. George Police pleaded guilty Tuesday to soliciting sex from a prostitute.

Blake Floyd Cozzens, 28, of Cedar City, pleaded guilty Tuesday to soliciting sex from a prostitute and was sentenced to one year on probation and a $1,000 fine. | Booking photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Prior to the sting operation, Blake Floyd Cozzens, 28, of Cedar City, held the position of treasurer for the Iron County Republican Party.

After filing the guilty plea in court, Cozzens was sentenced to 12 months of probation and a fine of $1,000.

Cozzens was among seven other men from Southern Utah who were arrested as part of the sting operation. They all responded to an ad for prostitution on backpage.com by a confidential informant, according to the probable cause statements filed by St. George Police in support of the arrests.

Read more: GOP official among 7 men arrested in St. George prostitution sting

Each of the men negotiated sex acts in exchange for money in text messages with the confidential informant, according to court documents. They were arrested after meeting at a prearranged location and paying between $100 and $150 for the sex acts they had discussed.

Besides Cozzens, the other men arrested in the prostitution sting were Jay Taylor, 44; Tony Jensen, 47; Michael Low Jr., 30; Jorge Vallejo, 41; James Cooper, 61; and Ryan Blanchard, 24.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Andrew Young, chairman of the Iron County Republican Party, said Cozzens had resigned from his position at the Iron County GOP.

“While we as a party leadership don’t condone this kind of behavior, we know that everyone has a right to due process in the law,” Young wrote in the Facebook post before asking the community to be respectful of Cozzens and his family.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Email: sricks@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @STGnews | @SpencerRicks

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

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6 Comments

  • SSTEED May 18, 2018 at 12:01 am

    At least it was two consenting adults. Shame on the police for creating the problem, but that has become par for the course hasn’t it.

  • comments May 18, 2018 at 12:29 am

    I’d say he’s just following the example of “our” president, the biggest whoremonger of them all. But when you got money and political sway you can get away with it. He can even haul home Slovak trophy wives as a byproduct of his east european sex tourism escapades. The man–“the donald” is a degenerate. As far as I’ve heard at least ol’ Slick Willy didn’t pay for it. The president admitting to paying “porn stars” to keep quiet after their little “go rounds”, and so many of you idiots still respect that man. Makes ol’ Bill’s under the desk secretary stuff seem pretty tame in comparison. And since the gov’t shut down backpage how is “homeland security” gonna set up these silly little prostitution “stings”? Maybe they’ll start having their “informants”(hookers) start parading themselves around on st george blvd…

    • mctrialsguy May 18, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Excuse me, but Slick Willy was doing a white house intern, and was accused of “molesting and raping” (not paying a prostitute for sex) 7 woman that had come forward. Willy (good name for Bill) was impeached. Big difference Mr. Liberal twist the facts…. This poor guy was arrested for trying to be an illegal prostitutes customer….hmmm, the law has this twisted around!

      • comments May 18, 2018 at 12:12 pm

        Let me phrase this a different way. Bill and Trump are both degenerate sex fiends. I don’t know why idiots still think trump is something we should be proud of. I might be old fashioned in thinking a president should be at least somewhat of a moral leader. It’s all like a bad joke, really. I’ll lump ol’ obama in there too, with his support of the LGBTqrsxyz stuff. It’s all like a very very bad joke. A race to the bottom is the new normal. Presidents have always had their “mistresses”, but it’s just become a full-on clown circus joke. The whole thing is disgusting.

  • ladybugavenger May 18, 2018 at 6:59 am

    Poor guy! Look at him, he has to pay for sex, it’s his only option.

    He wants to partake in sexual activities like everyone else

  • asianspa May 18, 2018 at 10:52 am

    It isn’t always consenting adults is the problem. The recent busts at our fine ST Blvd AsianSpa show enslaved Indonesian nationals that are kidnapped and forced into this. Speaking of consent … if this was a married man and he brings home an STD to his wife, did she consent to that??? When I run for office, I am going to call for State Owned Brothels or SOB’s if you will, that will fund education. This state loves sex and loves teachers so we need to bring the best of both worlds together once and for all. Make Sex Great Again at your local state owned brothel!!

    This large jolly fellow got off quite easy (no pun intended) 1k and 12 months probation… basically a traffic ticket and a little embarassment. He will pound back a few beers and have a laugh about this after his singles ward meeting someday soon enough.

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