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Ogden man charged with acting as 'pimp' for Utah lawyer

Published June 21, 2013 5:23 pm

Courts • Matthew Alan Crippen allegedly introduced 17-year-old girl to 65-year-old Steve Kuhnhausen.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An Ogden man is accused of pimping out a teenage girl who allegedly had sex with a prominent Utah defense attorney in exchange for money and gifts.

In charges filed this week in 3rd District Court, police wrote that a teenage girl reported that Matthew Alan Crippen was her "pimp." In a previous search warrant affidavit, Crippen was identified as the man who introduced a 17-year-old girl to attorney Steve Kuhnhausen, 65, who was charged in March with unlawful sexual conduct.

According to the new charges, the teen told investigators that Crippen drove her to an address identified as Kuhnhausen's home, where the teen said she had sex with a male client. She said she received $400 from the client; Crippen took $320 and gave $80 to the girl.

The teen said she had sex multiple times with the same client in 2012 and 2013, including two months when Crippen was in the Weber County jail. Jail records show Crippen received payments from Kuhnhausen in his jail money account, investigators wrote.

In court records, investigators wrote that Crippen said he had provided prostitutes to Kuhnhausen many times in the past three or four years. Crippen allegedly said Kuhnhausen had been requesting that Crippen "find him a 90-pound female," which Crippen interpreted as a request for a younger girl. The teen told investigators she met Kuhnhausen in August of 2012 and had a sexual relationship with him until she was interviewed by agents in February.

Investigators wrote that they found a number of sexually explicit text messages from Kuhnhausen to the girl.

The girl, identified by the same initials in charges against Kuhnhausen, allegedly said she received money, gifts, alcohol and marijuana from Kuhnhausen.

Crippen was charged with three counts of aggravated exploitation of prostitution, a second-degree felony. Kuhnhausen has been charged with 14 felony and misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual contact with a 16- or 17-year-old and enticing a minor over the Internet.

Kuhnhausen is scheduled for a preliminary hearing July 11.

Kuhnhausen, a 1977 graduate of the University of Utah Law School, was admitted to the Utah State Bar in 1978.

He is best known for his involvement as a defense attorney for members of the John Singer family, in particular, matriarch Vickie Singer, in the years following the polygamous clan's 1988 bombing of a Mormon chapel in Summit County. That bombing led to an armed standoff between law enforcement and Addam Swapp and his family, during which Corrections Officer Fred House was shot and killed.

In addition to criminal defense work, Kuhnhausen handles family law and divorce cases.

ealberty@sltrib.com