Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 1:04 PM
OGDEN — A local prostitution ring appears to extend well beyond a patrol bust in a Riverdale parking lot in January.
A three-hour preliminary hearing Thursday on four counts of exploitation of prostitution for Aaron Udell Elliott included written statements of nine women who detailed Elliott’s escort service as a front for prostitution.
One woman who applied for a secretarial position was persuaded by him to turn tricks, according to testimony.
Another woman said she was pressured by him to disrobe during an interview for an escort job; then he persuaded her to have sex.
“He said he needed to know if I was a good time, that his customers would have a good time with me,” according to the statement read into the record on the stand by Riverdale Detective Joel Pippin.
“I needed the job. I had to pay my rent. So I had sex with him.”
Officials told the judge the case is ongoing, the investigation continuing with the FBI involved.
“We’ve had new information come in as recently as this weekend,” Deputy Weber County Attorney Letitia Toombs told 2nd District Judge Ernie Jones.
Officials during a recess said the 6-foot-6, 350-pound Elliott preys on young women in need of money because of poverty, a drug habit or both.
They also asked that the names of those women mentioned in court, as well as employees of Elliott and others cooperating with the investigation, be kept confidential because of the expanding investigation.
“It’s the case that keeps on giving,” Pippin said.
Elliott, 42, lives in South Ogden, keeps an office in Clearfield, where his Fantasy Escort Co. is based, and evidence Wednesday detailed tricks turned in Weber, Davis and Box Elder counties.
Elliott’s arrest in a Riverdale parking lot Jan. 16 came when Officer Trent Thompson noticed a vehicle parked and running in the empty lot where all the businesses were closed, as it was 10:30 p.m.
He patrols the lot regularly in the 1500 West block of Riverdale Road and decided to check the vehicle, which appeared empty as he pulled up.
Then he noticed two teenaged girls sitting on the sidewalk near the vehicle.
“They were not appropriately dressed for the conditions,” he testified.
It was colder than 12 degrees outside, and they were wearing miniskirts.
He asked them what they were doing.
“He doesn’t allow us to smoke in his vehicle,” they said.
Which is when he noticed Elliott, who had apparently been hiding.
Thompson said he then called for backup and questioned Elliott, who said the two women were friends, ages 18 and 22. Thompson then asked him to remain in his vehicle and not to leave the scene.
“He was very polite actually.”
As other officers arrived, one of the girls was found to be intoxicated, and their ages were 16 and 17, and one had a large amount of cash, the amount not disclosed.
Their parents were contacted and arrived at the parking lot before “ultimately we decided to call detectives in and move everyone to the police station,” Thompson said.
Both teens had juvenile records, and one has since been returned to juvenile detention, and neither has returned to Fantasy Escort, according to testimony. Both told Riverdale detectives in subsequent interviews that Elliott had been driving them to his clients for sex that night.
Prosecutor Toombs, during a recess, said she couldn’t reveal what their prior juvenile records involved. “But it wasn’t prostitution.”
Jones ruled the evidence sufficient to advance Elliott to trial on the four counts of exploitation of prostitution tied to the Jan. 16 arrest, three of the counts second-degree felonies carrying one-to-15-year prison terms and the fourth a third-degree felony with a potential five-year prison term.
He set a status conference for Oct. 9.
Elliot’s website features pull-down menus for selecting various sexual proclivities, and his online ads boast of women regularly tested for sexually transmitted diseases, according to testimony.
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