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Taylorsville: Bizarre string of events leads to child-sex arrest

Published December 21, 2011 1:53 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It all started with a mouse. It ended with the rodent dodging a bullet, a house mate not — and another man arrested for sexual abuse of a young teenage girl.

Taylorsville police said 34-year-old Paul Daniel Kunzler remained in the Salt Lake County Jail on Wednesday, held without bail on suspicion of multiple counts of rape, sodomy and aggravated sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl.

Taylorsville police Officer Troy Martinez reports it all began about 2 a.m. Tuesday when he and other officers were called to a home near 2600 West and 5450 South to investigate an accidental shooting. They found that a 28-year-old man, while in the bathroom, had been struck in the chest by a bullet. The gunshot had been fired by a 27-year-old house mate who allegedly shot at and missed the mouse, with the errant 9mm slug going through the wall.

The wounded man was taken to the hospital, initially in serious condition but later upgraded to fair.

Alcohol was a factor in the shooting, police said.

It was when responding officers found the 13-year-old girl hiding in the home's basement that the case escalated to sexual abuse involving Kunzler, the third house mate, according to a probable cause statement.

"[She] told officers she [had] left her house without her father knowing where she was going," Martinez wrote. The girl "was interviewed at the South Valley Children's Justice Center and she disclosed she and Paul [Kunzler] have been seeing each other sexually."

The statement alleged that Kunzler acknowledged the relationship and various sexual acts with the girl when he was questioned.

What knowledge the other two occupants of the house may have had of the relationship was not immediately determined.

remims@sltrib.com