PROVO Two men who police say paid 14-year-old girls for sexual favors in an Orem apartment and in the back of an edited-movie shop in Utah Valley now face official charges in 4th District Court.
Daniel Dean Thompson, 31, who formerly ran Flix Club, a store in Orem that edited out questionable content from movies, was charged with two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and two counts of patronizing a prostitute for allegedly performing sexual acts with two 14-year-old girls.
Co-owner Isaac Lifferth, 24, allegedly arranged the meetings, and because of his own rendezvous with the girls, faces four charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor as well as two class B misdemeanors of patronizing a prostitute and one third-degree felony of possession of a controlled substance, according to court documents.
During a search of Flix Club at 908 S. State in Orem recently out of business due to legal pressure from Hollywood to stop editing movies police found numerous copies of commercially made pornographic DVDs but nothing that would constitute a crime. No pornography was made with the two girls, prosecutors said.
However, the legal woes don't end there.
Ray Lines, co-founder of CleanFlicks, held a press conference in Salt Lake City Friday to announce a federal lawsuit against Thompson and scold the media for associating Thompson with CleanFlicks.
"Thompson has never been a partner, officer, affiliate, dealer, franchisee, collaborator, consultant or representative of any CleanFlicks entity in any capacity," Lines said.
CleanFlicks handed out a three-page list of media citations, published since Thompson's arrest, that link Thompson to CleanFlicks. "We respectfully ask all journalists, bloggers and media outlets to please correct any inaccurate or false information they have inadvertently or inaccurately published in the past suggesting a false relationship between CleanFlicks and Daniel Dean Thompson," he said.
CleanFlicks attorney Matt Howell said the primary motive for the lawsuit is to make sure Thompson "is not trading on our name."
As far as the criminal side goes, Lifferth's attorney, Jere Reneer, and Thompson's attorney, Mike Petro, said they are both waiting for discovery from the Utah County Attorney's Office, which they hope to have by next week.
Reneer said his client thought the girls were 18, because that's the age they gave him.
"He's ashamed that he's brought this attention to his family," Reneer said. "He's embarrassed."
However, paying for sexual favors still can be charged as the class B misdemeanor of patronizing a prostitute.
Both men will be in court again Feb. 22 at 8:30 a.m.; however, their cases are not linked or tied together.
"He's certainly upset he got into this kind of predicament," Petro said about Thompson.
Police became aware of the alleged sexual activity when one of the girls' mothers saw a $20 bill in her daughter's room and questioned her about it.
When the mother learned it was payment for allegedly performing sex acts, she called police.
The Orem girls had allegedly hooked up with the two men through a 16-year-old female friend, who told them she knew people who were willing to pay for sexual favors.No charges have been filed against any of the females involved.