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Vernal hotel guest jailed after alleged sexual abuse of child pulled into room

By Nancy Van Valkenburg

July 2, 2023

VERNAL, Utah, July 2, 2023 — A 31-year-old man visiting from out of town was booked into the Uintah County Jail after he allegedly pulled a 14-year-old boy into his Vernal hotel room and sexually abused the child.

Michael J. Grant was arrested at about 2:44 a.m. Sunday on suspicion of two counts of child abuse. Both are first-degree felonies.

A probable cause statement says the child was walking past Grant’s room when a person opened the door, “grabbed him by his wrist and pulled the victim into the room…. The individual in room 214 was identified as Grant, 31 years old.”

Grant allegedly forced the child to engage in sexual acts, charging documents say.

The suspect allegedly told the Vernal Police detective who filed charging documents that he was in his room, watching pornography, when he saw his door was open, and found the victim standing outside.

“As I continued to talk with Michael, he changed his statement several times,” charging documents say. “Michael eventually said the victim came into his room but there was no physical contact. Michael later said he kissed the victim but that was all.”

Grant claimed the encounter was initiated by the child.

Grand was handcuffed and arrested.

“The victim’s mother arrived at the hotel during my interview and pulled the fire alarm and attempted to get into the victim’s room. The victim’s grandfather said he wanted to kill Michael.”

The detective suggested that Grant be jailed without bail due to the seriousness of the charges, for his own safety, and because he lives outside the area and might leave.

A judge ordered Grant be held without bail.


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