A convicted sex offender in Utah was arrested April 14 after investigators learned that the man wasn’t registered as a sex offender at his new address.
According to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, a detective was assigned to investigate the Lehi Farmers Market, because it was reported to be operating in violation of state code and zoning ordinances.
During the investigation, detectives found that one of the operators of the Lehi Farmers Market is Larry Neff Jarvis, 74, who is a registered sex offender on the Utah Sex Offender Registry, the sheriff’s office said.
Officials say that while the registry lists Jarvis as living in Saratoga Springs, Utah, detectives learned that he actually lives at the location of the farmers market, but failed to update his address.
After looking through the social media presence for Lehi Farmers Market, investigators saw Jarvis dressed as Elmo from the popular children’s TV show “Sesame Street.” (Utah Department of Corrections/Facebook/Lehi Farmers Market)
After looking through the social media presence for Lehi Farmers Market, investigators saw Jarvis dressed as Elmo from the popular children’s TV show “Sesame Street.”
According to the sheriff’s office, activities at the farmers market are oriented around children, including a petting zoo and tractor rides.
According to the Utah Department of Corrections, Jarvis was convicted in 1995 of two counts of attempted sexual assault.
Jarvis can be seen in two Instagram pictures provided by the sheriff’s office being with a child.
Utah law requires that anyone on the sex offender registry must get written permission from the parents of a child before being in their presence.
Jarvis was arrested and booked into jail under charges of failure to update sex offender registry address, a third-degree felony, and sex offender violation in protected area, a class A misdemeanor.
During the investigation, detectives found that one of the operators of the Lehi Farmers Market is Larry Neff Jarvis, 74, who is a registered sex offender on the Utah Sex Offender Registry, the sheriff’s office said. (Utah County Sheriff’s Office)
Jarvis was released a few hours after being booked and posted a $5,000 bond.
In a Facetime call with KUTV, Jarvis apologized to the community.
“I’ve been on this for 30 years and no other offenses. I’m trying to improve myself and be helpful to others. I really am sorry that I offended everyone and apologize for any kind of fear or undue concern that I caused them, especially for my sweet wife, and other people I know and worked with,” Jarvis said. “If they have concerns, I understand because there is such a stigma attached to the word sex offender.”
“There have been no new offenses or anything like that. Never had I intended to conceal or hide anything. I’ll do whatever is necessary to make things right,” he added.
Larry Neff Jarvis dresses up as Elmo for the Lehi Farmers Market. (Facebook/Lehi Farmers Market)
In a statement posted on Facebook, the Lehi Farmers Market said, “We are looking into all concerns and working closely with law enforcement to ensure that our farm is a safe, family friendly place to visit.”
“We wanted to have a place where familes could come and share in the experience of what farm life is like. Lehi is a growing city, as part of our goal we wanted families to feel a little bit of that old Lehi. This is a very difficult time. We are following the guidance of Law Enforcement and will tirelessly work until we have addressed every concern.”