City Weekly has obtained a copy of the letter Jeanette Herbert wrote in support of Ryan Johnson, sentenced on Dec. 13 for child-porn manufacturing.
During Johnson's sentencing, U.S. Attorney Carol Dain said Johnson, 34, represented himself as a 15-year-old girl on the Internet and coerced young males in his community to send naked photos of themselves to him.
Jeanette Herbert, the wife of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, wrote a letter to Judge Ted Stewart on the Governor's Office letterhead in support of Johnson, in which she says she has witnessed pornography "take over the lives and souls" of young people, mostly "good kids that have gotten caught up in pornography's addictive snares." She also says that a "one size fits all law and punishment is not what I see as a real solution to the problem."
Click on the letter to read it at full size.
The Governor's Office gave the following statement:
"The Governor and his Office will occasionally receive requests to provide letters of support to defendants in criminal proceedings. It is Governor's Office policy to deny such requests. Office policy also prevents officials and staff from using official letterhead for personal correspondence. Those policies had not been adequately explained to Mrs. Herbert at the time she signed the letter. She now understands the policies and as such regrets having provided the letter."