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Prosecutors want bail denied for Utah man accused of setting wife’s clothes on fire

A criminal charge against a former Latter-day Saint bishop accusing him of inappropriately touching a girl has been dismissed. Adobe Stock image

SPANISH FORK — Prosecutors have requested a man who allegedly set his wife’s clothes on fire after finding out she was having an affair, only for the fire to spread to his house, be held without bail.

Efrain Solis Mendoza, 35, of Spanish Fork, was charged Monday in 4th District Court with aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; two counts of child abuse, a class A misdemeanor; and intoxication, a class C misdemeanor.

On Nov. 19, after finding out his wife was having an affair, Mendoza took his wife’s clothes, put them in two trash cans and lit them on fire outside his house, underneath his children’s bedrooms, according to charging documents.

“Officers responded and saw the flames coming up from what was garbage cans and the house was now on fire. The plastic siding was burning,” the charges state.

Police officers used fire extinguishers until fire crews arrived. Four children were treated for smoke inhalation.

Mendoza was found “sitting between the two burning garbage cans listening to music,” according to the charges.

“Efrain said he wanted to be arrested and deported back to Mexico. The officers felt he was trying to commit suicide and burn down the home,” the charges state.

Police say Mendoza was intoxicated and had called police prior to the fire and asked to be arrested, but officers said he had not committed a crime, according to a police affidavit.

He was arrested after the fire was put out.