St. George • A southern Utah Republican Party official has been arrested in a prostitution sting a week after a politician from a neighboring city stepped down amid allegations that he met a prostitute in a taxpayer-funded hotel room.
Iron County Republican Party Treasurer Blake Cozzens was arrested Tuesday after paying $100 for sex acts he discussed in text messages with a confidential informant, according to court documents.
Once Cozzens, 28, handed over the money, investigators arrested him, according to court documents. He is one of five people arrested in the St. George sting, in which investigators posted ads posing as female prostitutes to lure would-be patrons, the Spectrum newspaper reported.
Cozzens is identified as the Iron County Republican Party’s treasurer on the group’s Facebook page, in addition to an archived page from 2017 that lists the group’s executive officers. The page was offline Wednesday evening.
A publicly listed phone number for Cozzens was called and was not answered, and an email message from The Associated Press wasn’t immediately returned. He is the son of a Cedar City councilman.
Andrew Young, the Iron County GOP chairman, also didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday evening from The Salt Lake Tribune.
Cozzens was charged in Utah’s Fifth District Court with a class A misdemeanor count of patronizing a prostitute. His arrest comes about a week after the Feb. 6 resignation of state Rep. Jon Stanard, R-St. George. Stanard is accused of meeting a Salt Lake City prostitute twice for sex.
Cozzens is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.