Judge Michael Junk of Ogden City Justice Court struck down a sentence Nov. 14, in the Anthony Sunford case.
Sunford was seen on video entering the women’s bathroom and locker room on eight separate occasions between Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, 2018. On one such occasion, he spent 17 minutes inside before seen exiting followed by an unknown woman appearing concerned, according to a written report of the video.
The prosecution and defense pulled Sunford from the court gallery a total of five times to discuss negotiations in private. In the minutes leading up to sentencing, defense attorney Randall Phillips asked to speak with Judge Junk in chambers.
In an effort to promote his client in the best possible light prior to the judges ruling, Phillips acknowledged his client’s wrongdoing and that his client takes full responsibility for his actions while at the same time offering a series of explanations as to why Sunford was in the women’s locker room. Phillips claims it was a case of irritable bowel syndrome that brought his client into the women’s bathroom and at no point was Sunford being surreptitious.
Judge Junk, however, was not accepting of this explanation and he personally recalled there were plenty of stalls in the men’s locker room on the second floor of the Wildcat Center for Health Education and Wellness. He further added that from the surveillance video provided to him by WSUPD, he could see Sunford looking around to see if anyone was watching before entering the women’s locker room.
Phillips argued lack of physical harm. Judge Junk, however, didn’t see the lack of harm as a sufficient argument given Sunford’s past convictions for attempted rape. Junk stated he was worried about Sunford being within the confines of a female, and furthermore believes he is looking at a pattern of behavior rather than an error in judgment.
Sunford claims his sexual deviant behavior is a result of stressful situations, hyper-sensitivity and an inability to ask for help, even though, he also claims he did ask for help from WSU’s Counseling & Psychological Services Center.
Junk was interested in knowing if Sunford made the same arguments and statements in his previous convictions.
“I have concerns,” Junk said. “It scares me.”
Given Sunford’s past, Junk felt jail time to be necessary and imposed 180 days per count, totaling 720 days to be served in the Weber County Jail. However, for Sunford’s cooperation with the court, Junk decided to suspend 660 days.
Sunford was granted work release during his 60 days in custody and a $2,040.00 credit to his $2,720.00 fine upon compliance. He is placed on supervised probation through Adult Probation & Parole who will also monitor the imposed 90 days home confinement after completing his jail sentence.
Sunford is prohibited from returning to WSU. The psychological evaluation of Sunford found him to be highly intelligent and a moderate risk for reoffending, and he is therefore prohibited from entering any changing room, locker room or dressing room.
Junk has scheduled a review of the case on Jan. 24, 2020 at 10 a.m.