SYRACUSE -- A man told police 50 people confirmed through the online advertising site Craigslist they would be attending a live sex show early Thursday at the Syracuse 6 movie theater.
Anael Ibanez, 36, of Bountiful, the alleged organizer of the show, made the admission following his arrest for distributing pornographic material and exploiting prostitution, said Syracuse Police Chief Garret Atkin.
However, the only ones who actually watched the sex show were a couple of undercover police officers and Terrill Holiday, 43, of Midvale.
Holiday has been charged with sexual solicitation.
Four sex show performers also were arrested.
Krystle Morales, 19, and Lillian Scott, 22, both of Salt Lake City, and Shelby Boyce, 21, of West Valley City, were each charged with sexual solicitation, a class B misdemeanor.
Additionally, Boyce was charged with possession of spice and paraphernalia; both charges are class A misdemeanors.
Troy Manning, 33, of Centerville, engaged in the performance with the women, police say. He was charged with sexual solicitation, possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia. The controlled-substance charge is a second-degree felony; the possession of paraphernalia charge is a class A misdemeanor.
When police received a tip from a confidential informant Wednesday that a sex show was going to be held at the theater after midnight Thursday, the information seemed unbelievable, Atkin said. "It was too bizarre."
Detectives confirmed the tip and arranged for undercover officers, posing as spectators, to attend the show. The cost to attend ranged from $35 to $75 depending on whether an individual wanted to watch or participate, Atkin said. Craigslist was used to advertise the show and recruit performers.
Davis Metro SWAT team members were dispatched to clear the theater because it was unknown how many people would be attending. SWAT officers broke a glass door at the front of the theater to gain entry, said a Syracuse 6 employee who declined to be identified.
Ibanez also attempted to arrange a sex show at the Syracuse 6 last Sunday but had to cancel because of a lack of spectators, Atkin said.
Ibanez works for a janitorial company that contracts with Syracuse 6 and had access to the theater after hours, Atkin said.
The company that employs Ibanez is Ogden-based Simply Right Inc., said a worker with Syracuse 6.
Kris Greenwood, an attorney for Simply Right, issued the following statement.
"At this point in time, we are actively working with law enforcement, ownership and all relevant parties to address the situation," he said in an email to the Standard-Examiner.
"We will not tolerate illegal conduct from our employees and will work to bring such parties to justice. Simply Right Inc. is a family-owned business and fully committed to upholding the law. We are currently taking appropriate measures to address the situation, bring the necessary parties to justice and provide the highest degree of integrity in our business."
John Shorba, vice president of operations for Minnesota-based United Entertainment Corp., which owns Syracuse 6, said the company was stunned by the incident.
"We only just heard about it early this morning ourselves, and we're absolutely shocked and appalled," he said in an email to the Standard-Examiner.
"We are a family-owned company and of course do not condone actions like this. None of our employees were involved nor had any knowledge of this incident. We would like to thank law enforcement and the tipster for acting quickly to put a stop to it.
"Our company is fully committed to working with investigators in any way we can. Over the past 20 years, United Entertainment Corp. has strived to provide a safe and fun customer experience at all of our locations, and we will work hard to continue to do so."