I was going to just post this on the Utah Rattles microblog but my comments and two articles made it too long and better suited here.
I didn’t know him on a deeply personal level so I can’t comment on his personalty. I know he liked playing the race card against people opposed to him. Nevertheless, this just about knocked me over when I saw it. I’m still shocked.
The article seems to indicate that he may have used her “immigration status” as leverage.
The defendant was also aware of the victim’s immigration status. As part of the text exchange on March 21, court documents indicate, Yapias stated: ‘I’m at meeting about immigration with representatives from Washington D.C.’
SL Trib article clarifies why Davis County will be prosecuting this instead of Salt Lake County:
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said police initially brought the case to his office, but he asked Davis County to take over. Gill said he has known Yapias for years, their paths crossing in Utah Democratic Party circles and on community work on immigration issues. Gill said he had appeared on Yapias’ radio show during the previous election cycle, so he passed the case on to another prosecutor to avoid any possible conflicts.
They aren’t kidding when they say he was prominent, either. He was a lead in lobbying the LDS Church on the Utah Compact (I think he’s even in the photo op from that) and, as I recall, was also a staunch opponent of e-verify and big proponent of HB 116 likely teaming with LDS Church lobbyists, Senator Bramble, and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce to lobby for the bill’s passage. He also coordinated a bunch of the amnesty marches in Salt Lake. So yea, he was prominent.
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty so we’ll see where this goes but based on the evidence presented in the article this doesn’t sound like it will end well for him. I’m still dumbfounded at this whole thing.