Utah attorney sentenced to jail, home confinement for sex with teenage girl

Published: Monday, April 28 2014 6:05 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah defense attorney who pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a teenage girl has been sentenced to jail, probation, home confinement and community service.

Steven Kuhnhausen, 66, pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, a third-degree felony, in January. On Monday, he was sentenced to zero to five years in prison by 3rd District Court Judge James Blanch, but the prison time was suspended.

Instead, Kuhnhausen was ordered to serve 120 days in jail, spend 90 days in home confinement, complete 100 hours of community service and complete three years' probation. The man was also sentenced to complete a substance abuse evaluation and any recommended treatment, as well as register as a sex offender.

The victim in the case told investigators she met Kuhnhausen when she was 16 in October 2012. She went to his Salt Lake City home to have sex, according to charging documents. From October through January, the teen said she had sex at least eight times with Kuhnhausen.

In January, Kuhnhausen purchased a cellphone for the girl and sent sexual text messages, with at least six of the messages asking her to engage in sexual activity with him, according to the charges.

Kuhnhausen, who deals mainly with personal injury, DUI and divorce cases, has been a member of the Utah State Bar since 1978. He graduated from the University of Utah Law School in 1977.

At one time, Kuhnhausen represented members of the Singer family, including family matriarch Vickie Singer. In 1988, he represented Hans Benjamin Singer, the 15-year-old son of Vickie and John Singer, in a civil contempt of court case for not testifying about family members.

Kuhnhausen was initially facing 14 total counts, including eight counts of unlawful sexual conduct, a third-degree felony; and six counts of enticing a minor, a class A misdemeanor. The remaining 12 counts were dismissed in exchange for the man's plea.

Email: emorgan@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

Get The Deseret News Everywhere