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Appeals court upholds stalking injunction against governor’s son

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Posted at 3:52 PM, Nov 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-23 17:52:22-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Court of Appeals has upheld a restraining order filed against the son of Governor Gary Herbert.

In a ruling handed down on Friday, the Utah Court of Appeals said Nathan Herbert’s confrontations with Aiona Butters met the legal definition of stalking.

“Moreover, Herbert’s course of conduct would have caused a reasonable person in Butters’s situation to fear for her safety,” the court said in its ruling.

Butters claims she had several uncomfortable encounters with Herbert (who had dated her sister) beginning in 2004. She sought a civil stalking injunction in 2010. After a judge granted it, Herbert appealed the restraining order, claiming his actions did not meet the definition of stalking under the law.

“These episodes should not be viewed in a vacuum. It is significant that this sequence of events began on the heels of the expiration of a four‐year stalking injunction obtained by Butters’s sister, which also extended to Butters. It is particularly noteworthy that after four confrontation‐free years while the first injunction was in effect, Butters saw Herbert circling her vehicle almost as soon as that injunction expired,” the court wrote.

In its ruling, the Utah Court of Appeals disagreed. The stalking injunction was put in place for three years.