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‘Clear and present danger’: Accused serial predator headed to prison

Mar 7, 2023, 7:52 PM | Updated: May 12, 2023, 5:09 pm

OGDEN, Utah — An accused serial predator is headed to the Utah State Prison after a judge revoked his probation Tuesday.

Joshua Homer, 27, appeared in an Ogden courtroom for a sentencing hearing, wearing striped prisoner garb and shackles.

Homer is now ordered to serve his previously suspended sentence of zero to five years in the state prison.

Last October, he appeared inside the same courtroom, where he was sentenced to just nine days in jail for sex crimes against a 16-year-old. He was allowed to serve the remainder of a 90-day jail sentence on “day reporting” while living at home.

As part of the plea agreement in that case, the judge suspended his prison sentence in favor of probation but warned Homer there would be zero tolerance for committing similar offenses. While the deal kept him out of prison and off the sex offender registry, he was still ordered to complete sex offender treatment and follow sex offender-specific conditions of release.

Homer was arrested again in December, the day after a report by the KSL Investigators revealed crimes against women and girls in Homer’s past spanning the last decade, but jail sentences amounting to less than a month behind bars.

Homer admitted to several probation violations while under supervision by Adult Probation and Parole. The violations include having alcohol and a weapon, failure to start sex offender therapy, and the discovery of hundreds of files of pornographic material on his phone.

In all, Homer has been convicted of seven new crimes while on probation for another crime. He’s had his probation revoked and reinstated three different times, and twice, his probation violations have resulted in the court ending probation altogether.

Tuesday, he asked the judge for another chance.

“Your honor, I understand I violated my probation and I take full responsibility for that,” he said. “Being incarcerated for this first violation has taught me a valuable lesson of the seriousness of this. I’d like another chance at AP&P. And the next time you see me in your courtroom, it will be after completing it successfully.”

But AP&P recommended against another release on probation in a written report to the court.

“Due to the nature of Mr. Homer’s current pending probation violations, if he is found to be in violation of his probation and due to his condition of zero tolerance, Adult Probation and Parole respectfully recommends his probation be revoked and he be ordered to serve his original sentence as outlined in state statute,” the report stated.

Homer’s public defender argued he should not be sent to prison after the first instance of violating his probation in the case, while the prosecutor noted that Homer was not out on probation long before he started committing violations.

“Probation is a privilege. It is not a right. And it is not a privilege that can be easily abused,” said 2nd district judge Noel Hyde. “The court does rule that the zero-tolerance condition has been violated. And based upon that failure and the failure to comply with the other requirements, the court finds that the defendant has not taken appropriate opportunity to proceed with probation.”

Reporting by the KSL Investigators has also revealed failures by several law enforcement agencies to fully investigate sexual assault cases. As a result, four rape cases naming Homer as a suspect have now been sent to prosecutors for charging decisions. At least 12 women, in total, have reported to Utah law enforcement agencies that Homer sexually assaulted them.

This report is part of a series examining how apparent gaps at every level of Utah’s criminal justice system fail to protect Utahns.

If you have experienced sexual violence, you can access help and resources by calling Utah’s 24-hour Sexual Violence Help Line at 1-801-736-4356 (English) or 1-801-924-0860 (Spanish). You can also call the Rape Recovery Center office line during office hours at 801-467-7282 or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 for free, confidential counseling.

Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

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‘Clear and present danger’: Accused serial predator headed to prison