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Violence, human trafficking among topics at annual conference

SALT LAKE CITY – Tough topics ranging from domestic violence to human trafficking were under discussion Thursday at a conference at the Capitol.

Local and national experts presented information at the Annual Crime Victim’s Conference, which focused on ways to help victims of violent and sexual crimes.

One of the major topics under discussion was human trafficking, as it is estimated that thousands of underage girls are sold into sexual slavery each year in the U.S.

Capt. Fernado Rivero of the Unified Fire Authority and Utah Trafficking and Persons Task Force said, despite what many people may think, slavery is not an issue of the past.

“The really heinous thing about human trafficking, it is a basic human and civil rights violation,” Rivero said. “People are held in slavery, so we thought we did away with slavery in the 1800s: We haven’t. It’s back, and it’s a big industry. It’s second only to the illegal drug trade.”

U of U releases report on alleged sperm tampering

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah released a report on an investigation into allegations of intentional tampering of a sperm preparation at a now-closed andrology laboratory.

The investigation was conducted after a woman reported a genetic test revealed her husband is not biologically related to the couple’s daughter.

The couple had received infertility treatment at the University of Utah Community Laboratory and Reproductive Medical Technologies, Inc. (RMTI) in the early 1990s.

Link: University of Utah Health Care: RMTI / Community Lab Update

“The family reported that the biological father has since been identified as Tom Lippert, a former medical technician of the two clinics who was responsible for preparing sperm samples,” a statement on University of Utah Healthcare’s website said.

Transcripts offer insight into fatal shooting at courthouse in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — Two days after a known gang member was shot and killed during his trial at the federal courthouse, transcripts detailing the final moments have been released.

Siale Angilau’s lawyer tried to prevent the witness who was attacked from testifying. Angilau’s attorney, Michael Langford, said the witness, Vaiola Tenifa, had a personal bias against Angilau but Langford was overruled and that may have added to increased tensions.

The morning of the trial, Angilau was upset over jail conditions. His lawyer said, according to the transcripts, “He wasn’t even able to take a shower, Judge. He’s locked up in supermax, and he’s not in the best of moods, understandably, this morning.”

But Angilau promised to behave, the transcripts say.

‘War Horse’ charges onto the stage in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY –  A play that explores the tragedy of war through the lens of a soldier’s relationship with his horse is playing in Salt Lake City, and FOX 13 News’ Dave Nemeth has a behind-the-scenes look at the production.

The play is adapted from a book, and in order to put equestrian characters on stage the producers put together some intricate puppets. The play runs through April 27, Click here for details and ticket information.

New program aims to help Utah smokers quit

SALT LAKE CITY — Smoking may be less present in Utah than in other states, but it is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the state.

The Utah Department of Health is pushing people to kick the habit, and on Wednesday Adam Bramwell of the Utah Tobacco Prevention and Control Program came to the FOX 13 News studio to discuss their new campaign to help people quit. The new campaign is called Way to Quit, and it embraces the wide variety of methods people use to quit smoking.

See the video above for information about the program, and click here for more details as well as resources for those who hope to quit smoking.

Strong storm causes damages, power outages in northern Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — “It was blasting things off the trees and into the yard and knocked slats off my fence and I’m thinking this is pretty bad,” said Brad Gregory of Sugar House.

But things got worse for Gregory when a large branch snapped off of his neighbor’s tree and crashed through his car.

“It’s a mess, and there was nothing wrong with this tree; I swear that was a powerful, powerful gust of wind,” Gregory said.

Gregory’s house was just one of several clean up stops for tree removal businesses working in Salt Lake County Wednesday.

The gusts knocked down trees and left yards covered with debris, which crews have been out cleaning up since Tuesday night. But trees weren’t the only thing to come down: The wind was so strong it toppled power poles, and the lack of electricity is making it hard for one business to get anything done.

Inmate assaults correctional officer in Salt Lake County Jail, officials say

SALT LAKE CITY — An inmate at the Salt Lake County Jail assaulted a correctional officer Monday afternoon while being escorted to his cell, according to officials from the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident occured at approximately 1 p.m., after the facility went on a standard lockdown, said spokeswoman Cammie Skogg with the sheriff’s office.

An inmate reportedly became agitated when he lost his call after the phones were turned off because of the procedural lockdown, Skogg said. As a correctional officer was escorting the inmate back to his cell, the prisoner reportedly became violent.

Skogg said the officer received stitches to his eye. The inmate was uninjured.

The name of the inmate and what he’s in jail for was not released. Skogg hopes to have that information made available by Tuesday.