Utah Senate candidate accused of violating protective order
UTAH COUNTY – Prosecutors said Wednesday that a Utah State Senate candidate violated a court order by emailing the woman he is charged with sexually abusing.
In February, just days before Republican Brandon Beckham filed his candidacy to represent Utah County in Senate District 23, the Utah County Attorney’s Office filed a second-degree felony charge of forcible sexual abuse against him.
The judge in the case granted the victim a pre-trial protective order last month after prosecutors said it appeared Beckham had liked some of her old transactions on the digital payment app Venmo.
The court order means Beckham isn’t supposed to have any contact with the woman, but during a court hearing Wednesday, prosecutor Stephen Jones alerted the judge about two emails he believes violated that order.
“Judge, it’s the state’s understanding that two emails were sent from the defendant to the alleged victim in this case,” Jones explained. “They were political in nature, however, one of them does address the alleged victim by name and it does talk about the facts of this case.”
A copy of one of the emails obtained by the KSL Investigators references “dirty” politics.
“Throughout this campaign, I have been forced to deal with unsubstantiated and false allegations made against me by an anonymous accuser, which I have categorically denied,” the message from Beckham read.
Jones said the email was sent to a number of people.
“I understand that it was the campaign, but that is the defendant’s campaign,” said Jones.
Randall Spencer, a defense attorney representing Beckham, said he didn’t know about the emails but did not believe his client sent them to the victim intentionally.
“We will certainly make sure that doesn’t happen again,” said Spencer. “That’s certainly not appropriate.”
The allegations against Beckham were reported to police in June last year, but a delay in prosecutors screening the case meant the case wasn’t filed until February. The case was first reported by the KSL Investigators in March.
A charging document in the case references a recorded phone call between Beckham and his accuser in which he allegedly “admitted to victim that… he ‘had gone too far’” and “apologized many times.”
Publicly, Beckham has denied any wrongdoing.
Beckham is running against incumbent Republican Keith Grover.
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