Prosecutors now investigating Goblin Valley rock case


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  • Robroy Murray, utah
    Oct. 30, 2013 1:01 p.m.

    $5000 fine. 200 Hours of community service. 3 years probation. Appology video stating how stupid they were and a commitment to stay out of any parks for a year.

  • Paddycakes South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    The should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law--both men. An example needs to be made of distraction of formations hundreds of thousands of years old. They took away part of our history. They should 10 years in federal prison, and mandatory derive of seven years.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Let's be clear...these men have suffered from making and posting a video of their stupidity. That is what they've suffered from. Other than being removed from their Scouting positions, they haven't suffered any penalty for their actual destructive act.

    Victimless? Hardly, their family members must be suffering now because of their posting. I imagine their spouses and kids are taking heat as well as them. And what about the youth under their care? We don't want them to become additional victims who believe that this kind of behavior is acceptable in our society because of the horrible example of these 'men'.

    Fine them with X hours of community service.

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    There is no question there should be punishment involved. The public nature of their actions leaves no doubt that the event occurred, and is widely known. However, to send these men to prison for multiple years, tag them as felons and destroy their lives and those of their families seems a bit over the top. A good judge will find a creative punishment that allows them to feel the weight of the crime yet does not crush men and families.

    When criminals committing rape and murder or conducting businesses that entrap hundreds of their fellow human beings in drug addiction get off with a slap on the wrist, it seems our of proportion to insist on "locking them up and throwing away the key". Really, folks? Is this what we've devolved to as a society--a continual lynch mob? Consider if those involved were your father, son or brother. Would you still want to destroy their lives?

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    Punishment? Certainly--a fine and probation will suffice (as they do for most misdemeanors). Jail time? Get real--I suppose you want a pound of flesh, too.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    No need for jail time and fine. BUT, why not let those two guys lift this rock back to where it was and stand gaurd? No dumb idea. Community service at Goblin Valley with out pay for a month in July 2014. That might work. Any idea?

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    Physics27; When I was studying geology at the UofU mayn years ago, one of the things we were taught is how these marvelous formations maintained themselves without falling. it seems that the underlying suport layer of very soft stone would be eroded by wind. When that happened, the center of gravity would shift, and that shift would cause the softer stone on that side to compress, making it harder. with the shift in the center of gravity, the less compressed side would start to erode faster and then the process would repeat, up until there was no longer enough surface area to support the rock no matter how well balanced. I watched the youtube video and it took a considerable amount of effort for him to topple it, so I don't think that it was in imminent danger of falling. The area was preserved as a state park for the very formations that they vandalized.

  • Eliot Genola, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    I have been to Goblin Valley and I have not seen any effort by the state of Utah to preserve it as a sacred place where the spirits of native American ancestors are represented in stone. To the contrary, they manage it pretty much as a playground where people can roam at will on and around the hoodoos. That's not a reason to knock one of the hoodoos over, but let's not get carried away and make this out to be some insult to the sacred spirits of long ago. Finally, if one million people visit the park and spend ten thousand dollars, how much money is spent per person? One penny. Hyperbole works best when it's internally consistent.

  • Jumpyman Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    @my 2 cents,

    I didn't know that the county has a "County Prospector". What does he/she do? Look for gold nuggets? Sorry- but I couldn't let that one pass without saying something. Anyway, Goblin Valley is a State Park, not a National Park. It is on state lands, not federal lands. And yes the County can prosecute acts that violate county laws even if it is on state lands- just like they can prosecute you if you do something illegal on land that you own.

  • altahoops Provo, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    The problem isn't that they tipped a rock. The real problem is the hundreds of other scout leaders who are now contemplating doing the same thing to secure their release from their scout calling and a likely lifetime ban from having to do scouting again.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    30 days in jail and a $5,000 fine along with a community service video of him apologizing and explaining why ruining a 2 million year old rock formation was an extremely thoughtless and stupid thing to do.

    Then let him get on with his life.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    So many perfect people in the world.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    For those of you who keep saying, "It's just a rock"...

    I remind you that for thousands of years, it was a sacred area to the Native Americans who believed those "rocks" [HooDoos] were spirits of their anciestors.


    IF it's just a rock,
    Please explain why millions of people spend tens of thousands of dollars and travel here from all over the planet just to see THOSE rocks!

    I'm mean, it's just a rock - right?!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    I'm getting my pick ax and heading for Delicate Arch.

    I mean, heck its gonna fall some day. Maybe I will get a medal.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    They, and the son who filmed it, should all be banned from scouting for life.
    Obviously they do not understand the Outdoor Code:

    As an American, I will do my best to -
    Be clean in my outdoor manners.
    Be careful with fire.
    Be considerate in the outdoors.
    Be conservation minded.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    This kind of idiocy has gone on for as long as there have been things to wreck. What might be called 'unique' about it is that now there is the means to self record and display the idiocy, and it actually seems to be a motivating factor in the destruction. It shows how self absorbed, and stupid, we're becoming.

  • Itsjstmeagain Merritt Island, Fl
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    If you ignore it, you will condone it. If not a trial, what is sufficient punishment? Thrown out of Scouting is obvious. Suffered enough, not hardly, they damaged citizen property on a lark.
    A trial seems to be the only recourse to set an example.

  • Floyd Johnson Broken Arrow, OK
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:46 a.m.


    Strange that you would use the example of cutting down a redwood tree in a park named for the giant sequoia. Ponderosa pine, cedar, lodge pole pine, whitebark pine, red fir, foxtail pine are also present there. It is a beautiful park, and is well worth the visit.

    I trust I am not the only man breathing a sigh of relief that most of my scouting was completed prior to the advent of YouTube.

  • Kay Hunt Celebration, FL
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    Class B misdemeanor Criminal Mischief may be considered if the action recklessly endangers human health or safety or if the value of damage is less than $300. Punishable by up to 6 months in jail and fines reaching $1,000.

    Class A Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief Recklessly endangers human life or the damage is valued at between $300 and $1,000. Punishable up to 1 year in jail and fines of $2,500.

    Third Degree Felony Criminal Mischief: if the damage caused by the act is valued at between $1,000 and $5,000. Punishable by up to 5 years in prison and fines of $5,000.

    Second Degree Felony Criminal Mischief Recklessly causes or threatens to cause a substantial interruption or impairment of a critical infrastructure or if the damage caused in the commission of the offense is valued at more than $5,000. Penalty of 1 to 15 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000.
    Do the crime do the time. Give them the option to plead to a lower charge. And I think that the Goblins were priceless.

  • Kay Hunt Celebration, FL
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    In 1954 it was proposed that Goblin Valley be protected from vandalism. The state of Utah later acquired the property and established Goblin Valley State Reserve. It was officially designated a state park on August 24, 1964. So all you people who think thy should just be let go. Vandalism is vandalism. And yes there should be charges brought against them.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    If they had vandalized a church I doubt there would be anyone on these threads crying, "it was just a window and some bricks! Sure they posted a video of themselves bragging about destroying something that many care deeply about, but haven't they suffered enough?"
    Folks, I say with all sincerity, that the place they vandalized is as important to many as your meetinghouse is to you.

  • james d. morrison Boise, CA
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:27 a.m.

    He should get some kind of fine and probation, but let's remember, it is just a rock and let's not completely destroy his life over it. Sure it was something that took thousands of years to create, but don't we all participate in destroying something that took just as long to create every time we pave over something or mine for anything that we use in our lives?

  • DaveRL OGDEN, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    Vandalism is never right, especially if you are destroying public property. Like the old saying we've all heard, "you do the crime, you do the time".

  • lledwards38 Canandaigua, NY
    Oct. 30, 2013 6:16 a.m.

    I agree with those who say there must be consequences for this unutterably stupid behavior. However, I'd hate to see these men given prisons sentences.

    How about 100 hour of community service in state parks. That would let the "punishment fit the crime."

  • Martin Blank Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 6:01 a.m.

    What some posters here don't seem to acknowledge is that this was an act of vandalism. Let them off the hook? Why? Would you want someone who tagged your garage prosecuted? What about the bowery at the local park? If someone cut down a redwood in Sequoia National Park, should they be prosecuted? Vandalism is vandalism is vandalism. And it should be prosecuted if only as a deterrent to others who might consider doing the same thing. The "goblin topplers" haven't yet paid enough--they need to be accountable for their illegal actions.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 5:47 a.m.

    I can't believe how many people get themselves into serious trouble by posting videos on Youtube. Honestly!

    This guy probably needs to get a fine and a good lecture. That's all. It was a dumb thing to do and he knows it. Let's keep our sense of proportion.

  • DVD Taylorsville, 00
    Oct. 30, 2013 5:45 a.m.

    @casual observer

    "Boy Scout leaders yet they were not wearing Scout uniforms in the video. Some punishment's in order, but let's not run wild. A judge can consider "time served" which is what they have experienced, i.e they are out of Scouting and everyone thinks they have the common sense of yeast."

    I'd say at least let the system run its course over the prosecution of vandalism and be public. We've had several other cases where individuals have run amok like this and destroyed irreplacable icons and from the perspective of other vandals, nothing happened to the perps. We try to preserve these icons of natural beauty for a reason and the establishment of national parks was partly for this.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 3:15 a.m.

    Don't know why the county prospector is getting invloved, unless its to defend the actions of citizens acting to prevent others from being harmed by an impending rock slide some commons sense in their actions.

    The prosecutor cannot prosecute anyone, its a federal property and county government has no authority on federal lands unless they are tying to wrest criminla control of the parks and recreation sites in their proximity of the county boundaries.

    The park service would have had no choice but take the same action if they stumbled on the hazard and these men should not be charged with any crime. Saving lives and people from injuries is a national past time avocation as shown by the hundreds of awareness groups who have formed for the same reason, prevent others from harm.

  • cambodia girl Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    Oct. 30, 2013 2:14 a.m.

    Now, how about a video of apology and some community service in action to help clean up Goblin Valley.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Oct. 29, 2013 10:28 p.m.

    Ahem.....that should be FORMER Scout leaders...they got tossed, remember?

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 10:19 p.m.

    Boy Scout leaders yet they were not wearing Scout uniforms in the video. Some punishment's in order, but let's not run wild. A judge can consider "time served" which is what they have experienced, i.e they are out of Scouting and everyone thinks they have the common sense of yeast.

  • md Cache, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 9:35 p.m.

    @Reasonable Person

    Nice login.

    What would make this right? Fine him a million dollars? Jail for 10 years?

    He did a stupid thing. Wasting tons of money to prosecute him will net us what? Prison time that we will fund at the cost of 30K per year? I think he must be embarrassed and I doubt he will ever do anything like this again.

    I just think it is an incredible waste of time and money to prosecute him for toppling a rock.

    I guess you want to get the torches and pitchforks and nail the fool, eh?

    Where is this outrage when something is done that really matters?

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Oct. 29, 2013 9:16 p.m.

    My family went to Goblin Valley years ago and loved the unique "goblins" out there. For someone to say that one of those goblins was set to fall at any time, yet this one had to be shoved while bracing one foot against another base and using excessive force needs to understand - it wasn't going to happen any time soon! That's really a disgrace to the natural course of events in nature.

    Let Nature do the shoving and moving. People are only visitors the awe-inspiring park. Don't take away the opportunity from others to visit by destroying the park's goblins.

  • Oldcoach Hurricane, 00
    Oct. 29, 2013 9:05 p.m.

    Let it go? What kind of message is that sending? If you post a video of yourself acting like an idiot, then you pay the consequences, both personally and legally. Let them off? Throw the book at them. Maybe that will send the right message.

  • Physics27 Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 8:54 p.m.

    Sure it wasn't the right thing to do and they should be fined but get ahold of yourselves people. It was a rock sitting on a mound of dirt. People are acting like it was a murder. It could have fallen on its own within a few years.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 8:32 p.m.

    "They have suffered enough"

    Wow. Just wow.
    Let's just open up our Utah State Parks to ALL the vandals!
    Heck, let them topple all the Goblins, then move on to This Is The Place.
    Why not?,

  • md Cache, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 8:01 p.m.

    It would be a waste of time and money to prosecute this case. I imagine they have suffered enough. Let it go.