Location unknown: KSL Investigates Utah’s missing sex offenders 

Jul 19, 2023, 10:46 PM | Updated: Aug 7, 2023, 9:11 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – A convicted child sex offender on the run and charged with raping a minor in Utah last month is just one of hundreds of Utah sex offenders who are not in compliance with the state’s registry.

36-year-old Christopher Law is charged with two counts of felony rape and sodomy in a case filed in Davis County on June 30.

According to charging documents, he was last seen in Utah by a neighbor who reported seeing Law loading a laundry basket full of clothes into his vehicle. Bountiful Police told the KSL Investigators Law was known to be in the Sacramento, California area on Wednesday, June 12.

There have been no updates on his location since.

More missing offenders

KSL’s investigation into Law revealed a long list of other sex offenders whose location is “unknown” on the Utah’s sex offender registry. As of Wednesday morning, 195 offenders were listed with an unknown location or blank address.

Under Utah code 77-41-105 anyone convicted of a qualifying sex offense in Utah is required by law to provide certain information, including the address of their primary and/or secondary residences, to a police department or other registering entity. That information is required to be updated every 6 months. Failing to register or providing false or incomplete information to the registry is a crime.

Of the 9,590 people listed Wednesday morning on the registry, 451 were flagged as “non-compliant”.

Slipping through the system

KSL’s analysis of the registry found examples of offenders who’ve been slipping through the system, sometimes on repeat.

People like 63-year-old Jerry Serfoss who has pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender at least five times since 2011. In 2021, his guilty plea earned him a sentence of probation. He’s now non-compliant once again, location: unknown.

Willy Brandt, 33, pleaded guilty to sexual battery and lewdness in May of 2023. He was also sentenced to probation and now, just two months later, his location is also unknown.

In July 2021, 36-year-old Roberto Navarro was sentenced to spend one year in jail after he pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual abuse of a child. Navarro was ordered to self-report to jail the following October. He never did. A warrant has been out for his arrest ever since.

New criminal charges

Of the 195 sex offenders whose location is listed as unknown, 42 have new criminal charges filed against them.

34-year-old David Vargas, a convicted sex offender whose original conviction happened in California, was not in compliance with Utah’s sex offender registry when police say he tried to kidnap two girls in Sandy last summer. A warrant is out for his arrest, and he’s so far failed to appear in court to face two charges of first-degree felony attempted child kidnapping.

39-year-old Glendell Clark’s lifetime sex-offender registry requirement comes from a rape conviction in Louisiana in 2004. In May 2023, he was charged in Utah with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. A warrant is out for his arrest.

Wanted on warrants

Navarro, Vargas and Clark are just three of 101 unaccounted for sex offenders with active warrants. Christopher Law also has a warrant out.

“We do feel he’s a danger to the community and we need assistance in locating and arresting him to bring him into custody,” said Bountiful Police Assistant Chief Dave Edwards in an interview with the KSL Investigators about Law last week. “Give us a location or information so we can locate him and get him into custody before any other crimes are committed.”

Police believe Utah child sex offender facing new charges has fled to California

Tracking them down

Utah’s Department of Corrections maintains the sex offender registry and is tasked with tracking offenders who are under the supervision of Adult Probation & Parole. A corrections spokesperson told KSL job of keeping track of the rest of the offenders who are not under AP&P supervision is up to the local law enforcement agencies where each offender lives.

Members of the public with information about non-compliant and wanted sex offenders can report tips online through the registry website.

Anyone with information about Christopher Law’s whereabouts is asked to call Bountiful Police at 801-298-6000.

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 Helpline at 1-888-421-1100. You can also call 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.

KSL 5 TV Live

KSL Investigates

Americans spend millions of dollars on digital entertainment: movies, music, audiobooks, and e-book...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

What happens to your purchased digital movies, music, and e-books when you die?

Americans spend millions of dollars on digital entertainment: movies, music, audiobooks, and e-books. But is any of it really ours to keep? It's a question a Hooper widow is tackling after losing access to her e-books, so she decided to Get Gephardt.

12 minutes ago

(KSL TV)...

Matt Gephardt & Cimaron Neugebauer

Bountiful woman left without phone service or answers days after her husband dies

When you pay for a phone service, you expect it to work. But after being unable to make or receive calls despite reaching out to the provider multiple times to fix it – a Utah woman decided it was time to Get Gephardt.

4 days ago

Cami Johnson reported to police in 2017 that she was drugged and sexually assaulted by her ex-husba...

Daniella Rivera

Sexual assault survivor says delays in police investigation allowed perpetrator to attack a teenager

A Utah woman said delays in properly investigating her report of sexual assault allowed her perpetrator to remain free and attack a teenage girl more than a year later. The KSL Investigators examined the timeline of multiple investigations involving the same man.

4 days ago

In the moment they feel like small purchases, right? An ornament here. A stocking stuffer there. A ...

Matt Gephardt

How you can avoid holiday debt despite the pressure to spend

In the moment they feel like small purchases, right? An ornament here. A stocking stuffer there. A last-minute office gift. But all this can quickly add up to a financial holiday hangover. And perhaps it’s one you’re still feeling from the last holiday season.

5 days ago

After a yearlong fight for a copy of the Utah attorney general’s schedule, KSL’s attorneys have...

Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera

KSL files motion seeking release of AG’s calendar in public records fight

After a yearlong fight for a copy of the Utah attorney general’s schedule, KSL’s attorneys have asked a judge to order the release of the records, without the case going to trial.

5 days ago

Man's picture with details about him...

Daniella Rivera

Sandy case highlights challenges tracking sex offenders who move across state lines

The KSL Investigators have been following the case of a convicted sex offender from California who moved into a Sandy neighborhood but did not show up on Utah's registry for nearly a year. Now, we don't know where he is, but we do know he's not a resident at the latest address he gave to authorities.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Location unknown: KSL Investigates Utah’s missing sex offenders