Former deputy pleads guilty to trying to solicit and stalk female inmates

LOGAN — A former Cache County Sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty to soliciting a female jail inmate to have sex with him and stalking others online. James “Josh” Woytko waived his right to a preliminary hearing and accepted a plea deal from prosecutors.

Woytko appeared in 1st District Court Thursday afternoon. The 36-year-old Smithfield man pleaded guilty to custodial sexual relations, a class A misdemeanor, and stalking, a class B misdemeanor. As part of the settlement, a second stalking charge was dismissed.

State attorney Spencer Walsh told the court how Woytko solicited and sexually harassed several women in the jail, while he worked there as a deputy. In one instance, he contacted a woman shortly after she was released on probation. He offered her gifts in exchange for sex.

Later, two inmates reported Woytko made sexually harassing comments to them.  One reported how he asked her to go shower, so he could see her naked.  The other woman claimed he said seeing her in street clothes was causing him to be aroused.  He also attempted to contact the women through social media after they were released.

Walsh said all of the victims were offended and uncomfortable by Woytko’s actions. They were also fearful because of his position and authority.

Woytko spoke only briefly during Thursday’s hearing, telling the court he agreed to give up his right to a fair trial. He was ordered to return to court July 31 for sentencing.

Following an investigation into policy and procedure violations, by the sheriff’s office, Woytko was terminated November 6, 2017. He had been a deputy for almost six-years.

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