COURTS & LEGAL

Suspect in Utah cold case back in prison on unrelated parole violation

May 16, 2024, 10:21 PM | Updated: 10:23 pm

OGDEN — A registered sex offender who spent more than 30 years in prison for sexually assaulting multiple women in Ogden during the 1980s is back in custody, after four years on parole.

A Utah Adult Probation and Parole officer arrested Cary Hartmann, 75, in April after allegedly discovering Hartmann circumvented content filtering controls on his TV and cell phone in order to view pornography.

The conditions of Hartmann’s parole prohibit him from accessing or possessing pornographic materials.

Hartmann, a former Ogden police reserve officer, was first arrested in May of 1987 on suspicion of rape. Ogden police at the time believed he was responsible for a string of home invasion sexual assaults that’d taken place across the city during the prior year.

The Weber County Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against Hartmann in four of those cases.

Hartmann in handcuffs in 1987.

Hartmann in handcuffs in 1987. (KSL TV)

A Weber County jury convicted Hartmann on counts of first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault and aggravated burglary during a trial in one of those cases that September. The judge sentenced Hartmann to two terms of 15 years-to-life and an additional term of five years-to-life, with the sentences running concurrently.

Hartmann later accepted a plea deal, admitting to a first-degree felony charge of rape in a second case. In exchange, prosecutors dropped charges in the remaining cases.

Hartmann repeatedly appeared before the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole to request a release from custody over the next 30-plus years. During his last parole hearing on Oct.October 2919, Hartmann said pornography was a “drug of choice” that he turned to when his life was falling apart.

“That led to cruising for women and choosing women to make victims,” Hartmann said. “I no longer have anything to do with any type of pornography whatsoever.”

The parole board released Hartmann five months later, after he completed a sex offender treatment program and a licensed clinical social worker concluded he presented a below-average risk to re-offend.

In a report obtained exclusively by KSL, an AP&P officer wrote that he visited Hartmann’s home in Ogden on April 10, 2024.

The officer examined Hartmann’s cell phone and described finding web browser tabs open to sites containing pornography. Hartmann had also allegedly accessed pornography on his television, bypassing content filters to do so.

The parole officer wrote he intended to have Hartmann undergo a polygraph examination “due to him lying on different accounts about why he had pornography on his phone.”

“When I told (Hartmann) he needed to be honest with me, he also admitted to going to Walmart about eight or nine days ago,” the officer wrote. “There, he purchased a new laptop and took it home to log on and get onto a pornography website …Cary stated he returned the laptop to Walmart later.”

Sheree Warren’s boyfriend, Cary Hartmann’s mug shot on May 8, 1987, taken a year-and-a-half following Sheree’s disappearance. Hartmann’s arrest was for an unrelated rape/sexual assault. Hartmann was convicted at trial and set to prison for 32 years.

Sheree Warren’s boyfriend, Cary Hartmann’s mug shot on May 8, 1987, taken a year-and-a-half following Sheree’s disappearance. Hartmann’s arrest was for an unrelated rape/sexual assault. Hartmann was convicted at trial and set to prison for 32 years. (Utah Department of Corrections)

The Utah Department of Corrections classifies parole violation reports as “protected” records under the state’s public records law, GRAMA. However, in response to a records request from KSL, Corrections Deputy Director Jared Garcia wrote, “After considering both the public interest in this specific matter and the other interests intended to be protected … the Utah Department of Corrections believes that in this circumstance, the public interest outweighs the other interests at play.”

The copy of the parole violation report provided to KSL includes redactions, which obscure some of the specifics of the parole officer’s allegations. The officer did note Hartmann’s past statements to the parole board about viewing pornography being a precursor to his sexual assaults of women.

“(Hartmann’s) criminal mindset continues to grow while he has been on parole,” the officer wrote.

Hartmann is scheduled for a new hearing before the Board of Pardons and Parole on May 29, when he’ll have an opportunity to respond to the parole officer’s allegations.

The Roy City Police Department also considers Hartmann a suspect in the 1985 cold case disappearance of Hartmann’s then-girlfriend, Sheree Warren. However, no criminal charges have ever been filed in that case.

Warren’s case is the subject of season 3 of KSL’s investigative podcast series, COLD.

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Suspect in Utah cold case back in prison on unrelated parole violation