LOCAL NEWS

Utah Woman Finds Justice 14 Years After Childhood Sexual Abuse

Apr 2, 2021, 11:08 PM

MAGNA, Utah – Fourteen years later, a woman is finding justice for a crime committed against her when she was just a child.

Mariah Faulkner, now 27, said she was raped by her adoptive mother’s boyfriend in 2007 when she was 13 years old.

“I called him ‘dad,’ and so he was like my first real father figure,’” Faulkner said during an interview with KSL on Friday.

Faulkner said Jimmy Haynes would try to be the “fun dad,” but the trust she had in him was completely violated.

“He would just kind of cross the lines when he tickled and just little things that I didn’t realize at first,” Faulkner said. “When it happened, it was kind of like all those little red flags went off in my head.”

Court documents describe the rape that occurred — details Faulkner kept secret up until a therapy session in 2009 when she was back in foster care.

“Even after he raped me, he would still do nice things for me or be nice to me,” Faulkner said. “You feel like this is all your fault and it’s embarrassing and you don’t want people to know what happened to you.”

Faulkner said though there was mandatory reporting related to the therapy session disclosure in 2009, she ultimately decided to go to police and prosecutors with her story in 2014.

“I’m sad to say there was a prosecutor in this office who didn’t think that it could be done,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, who noted that the prosecutor no longer worked for his office.

Last year, Faulkner said she spotted Haynes and found out he once again was living in close proximity to her.

That prompted her to retain a private investigator and take a second look at bringing the case before prosecutors with some additional evidence.

“This victim, who was incredible with her experience, was very compelling,” Gill said.

Haynes was charged on Nov. 10 with one count of rape of a child, three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and a count of sodomy upon a child, all first-degree felonies.

On Mar. 17, a jury convicted Haynes on all counts.

“I felt very justified in court and hearing, you know, Donna Kelly, my (prosecutor),” Faulkner said. “For her to just talk about how it wasn’t my fault and these things that he did, the control he had over me and how he abused it — it was really empowering for her to tell my story.”

Gill said over the years, his office has had a “paradigm shift” toward contacts like Faulkner’s, ensuring prosecutors offer an open ear and support.

He said it’s important that people are not revictimized during the legal process.

“The message we want to be able to send is that you are seen, you are heard, you are cared for and you are not alone,” Gill said.

Haynes is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

Faulkner acknowledged it would have been difficult to come forward about the abuse when she was 13, 16 or even 21 years old.

“This was hard,” Faulkner acknowledged.

She hoped sharing her story would empower others who have survived similar situations to report to police.

“It isn’t ever too late to come forward, as you can see — you know, 14 years later,” Faulkner said. “It really gave me faith in the justice system again that there’s people out there who care and who are fighting for you and who continue to fight with you.” 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

JR Johansen with his Uvalde portraits...
Dan Rascon

Utah artist delivers portraits to families of Uvalde shooting victims

A Utah artist recently took a life-changing trip to a small Texas town to make a special delivery for residents who are still recovering from a horrific mass shooting.
23 hours ago
Handcuffs in a jail cell FILE PHOTO (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...
Pat Reavy

Four teens looking for rival gang members charged in connection with triple killing at party

Four teen boys have been charged in connection with a gang-related shooting at a house party in West Jordan last year that left three people dead.
23 hours ago
A side by side of the two photos. (KSL-TV)...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Utah woman’s engagement photo pays tribute to grandmother’s love story at Bryce Canyon National Park

A Utah couple's engagement photo recreating the bride-to-be's grandparents at Bryce Canyon National Park 63 years later is going viral, with a beautiful love story behind it.
23 hours ago
Railroad crossing safety...
Katija Stjepovic

Bill to make Utah railroad crossings safer advances in House

As the beehive state continues to grow, more people are commuting, whether by car, train, or foot, we have seen more collisions on Utah`s railroads.
23 hours ago
The Provo Airport is beyond capacity, and plans are being made for increased service and more growt...
Alex Cabrero

New Provo Airport discussing expansion after year of rapid growth

A new airport in Provo is already at capacity and continually growing -- discussions of expanding and additional service are already underway.
23 hours ago
Inversion over Salt Lake City...
Jed Boal

UTA free fare year proposed to improve Utah’s air quality

The bipartisan Utah Legislative Clean Air Caucus unveiled several bills and appropriations Tuesday aimed at improving air quality in Utah.  
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Utah Woman Finds Justice 14 Years After Childhood Sexual Abuse