Price man with HIV arrested after attempting to solicit teen


A local teen was on his way to work May 25 and stopped near the underpass of 100 North and Highway 6 to take a break. He was approached by 58-year-old Leon Mead. The man asked the teen if he would perform a sex act for a small amount of money. The youth quickly declined the offer and then Mead tripled what he first offered and asked the teen to perform a different act.

The youth fled the scene and reported the incident to his employer as soon as he arrived at work. Local dispatch was immediately contacted. Armed with a good description of Mead, Price City Police was able to quickly locate him and took him into custody.

During the interrogation, Mead revealed he was HIV positive. That enhanced the charges as well as the fact the victim he approached was a juvenile.

Mead was charged in Seventh District Court with second-degree felony aggravated exploitation of prostitution because the victim was younger than 18, and sexual solicitation was elevated to a third-degree felony because of Mead’s HIV-positive status. He also was charged with third-degree felony distribution of pornography by an adult in connection to allegations that he was sending and receiving pornography on the Internet.

Utah court records show Mead pleaded guilty to a class B misdemeanor for committing a lewd act in Salt Lake City in 2006.

Price City Police Captain Bill Barnes stated the teen who was approached by Mead was a victim and the charge of soliciting was based solely on the actions of Mead.

Bail was initially set at $109,000 but was reduced to $10,000. Mead posted bail an hour after the reduction and is free pending a court appearance.

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