LOCAL NEWS

Utah business owner mistaken for woman charged with child abuse

Oct 25, 2023, 8:04 PM | Updated: Oct 26, 2023, 6:42 am

SANDY — A Utah business owner says she’s being mistaken for a woman charged with multiple counts of child abuse.

Vanessa Ramirez owns Connexion Utah, spelled with an X, in Sandy. She says her business is being mistaken for Connexions Classroom, also spelled with an X, which is owned by Jodi Hildebrandt, the Utah therapist currently behind bars.

“The owner is in jail now where she should be.” “This is a cult ran by sociopaths.” “Child abuser.” These are some of the Google reviews for Ramirez’s consulting business, Connexion Utah.

“Definitely not me,” Ramirez said.

The business owner says one-star reviews started to pop up a few months ago.

“This doesn’t seem right,” she said, “unless someone’s making up stories about me.”

Vanessa Ramirez, owner of Connexion, looking at the Google reviews about her business. (KSL TV)

She replied to some of them, but keeping up with commenters quickly became a part-time job.

“I reached out to Google on several occasions, and they did nothing about it,” Ramirez said.

She says her five-year-old business was also picked apart on Instagram.

“I went on there and was blocking accounts, ”Ramirez said.

She had no idea about the mix-up until she read one review trying to explain things to angry commenters.

“In bold right here, in caps, ‘this is not Jodi’s business,’” she said, referring to the review. “That’s when I started really looking.”

A Google search on “Connexion” revealed several news articles about Utah therapist Jodi Hildebrandt.

“For them to attach me or link me or affiliate me in any way to what’s going on with the other company — I do not want it.”

Utah business owner, Vanessa Ramirez says she's being mistaken for a woman convicted of child abuse, who previously owned a business with a similar title. (KSL TV)

An image of ConneXions Classrooms, run by Utah therapist Jodi Hildebrandt. (KSL TV)

Hildebrandt has been in jail without bail since late August after her business partner’s children were found malnourished with open wounds inside her house.

For months, Ramirez says her livelihood and reputation have been confused with Hildebrandt’s.

“For new clients or potential clients, if they don’t know me, my credibility’s shot from that.”

She asks people to click carefully and do their homework before leaving comments.

“Make sure you’re giving credit where it belongs and the bad review where it belongs.”

Ramirez says she’s still working with Google to get her reviews cleaned up. She says if they don’t improve, she may be forced to close it down altogether and start from scratch.

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Utah business owner mistaken for woman charged with child abuse