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Charges Filed Against Heber City Man for Exploiting a Teen Girl from Arizona

September 25, 2020

The Utah Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force filed charges this week against a 28-year-old man from Heber City, Utah for soliciting explicit photos from a 15-year-old girl from Arizona.

Dale Robert Lawrence has been charged with 15 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony; one count of dealing in material harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony; and four counts of enticement of a minor, a class A misdemeanor.

On May 27, 2019, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a cybertip from a 16-year-old girl from Arizona who reported she had been communicating with Lawrence through Snapchat from March 2018 to June 2018.

Lawrence allegedly solicited the girl to send explicit pictures and videos of herself during these communications despite his knowledge that she was 15 years old. During an interview with ICAC agents, Lawrence admitted to knowing the girl was underage, engaging in sexual conversations, and receiving at least 15 explicit images and videos from her.

Lawrence works at a high school and routinely interacts with underage children who are the same age as the victim. A summons has been issued for Lawrence to appear at a future court date.

ICAC Task Force Files Charges Against West Valley Man

July 16, 2020

Today, the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force charged a man from West Valley City, Utah with two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, a second-degree felony; and one count of Voyeurism – Committed Against Child Under 14 Years of Age; a third-degree felony.

In February 2020, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a cybertip from Google that reported a user had uploaded suspected child pornography to their account which, upon investigation, belongs to Kevin Jeffory Long, 41.

The ICAC Task Force served a search warrant on the Google account and found approximately 150 files of child erotica and voyeuristic photos of young female children that appear to have been taken by Long.

A search warrant was served on Long’s cellphone, which revealed more files of child erotica along with photos and videos of an approximately 7-year-old girl that appeared to have been recorded by Long.

Long was on probation for previous crimes at the time of the investigation and subsequent charges. The ICAC Task Force has requested that Long be held without bail.

Beaver, Utah Man Sentenced to Jail in Child Pornography Case

June 17, 2020

A Beaver, Utah man was sentenced to jail yesterday after pleading guilty to four counts of Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.

Nathaniel Tyler Adams, 24, was sentenced to serve 364 days in the Beaver County Jail and will be placed on probation for 48 months upon his release, where he must abide by all the related conditions. Additionally, he must register as a sex offender and complete a sex offender treatment program.

Adams was first arrested in January 2020 following an investigation by the Utah Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Investigators received a CyberTip reporting chat logs that appeared to be discussing arrangement for the sexual molestation of a user’s daughter and a CyberTip reporting child pornography uploaded to Instagram. Investigators were able to trace the account of the chat and the Instagram account back to Adams.

In an interview with investigators, Adams admitted to being the owner of the chat and Instagram account, as well as possessing and uploading child pornography.

Initially, Adams was charged with 10 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, however, six of those charges were dropped and the remaining four counts were reduced to third-degree felony charges of Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor as part of a plea agreement.

In an interview with Cedar City News, Assistant Attorney General Ryan Holtan explained the reasoning behind the plea agreement.

“The tricky thing with child pornography is, there’s sometimes thousands and thousands of counts,” Holtan said. “Regardless of how many counts of child pornography you charge somebody with, if they’re convicted of two, five, 10 or 20, the courts actually don’t treat those much differently.”

According to Holtan, the current plea dead carries a greater sentence than if he had been convicted of all counts he was originally charged.

“What we did is, when we pled him to the four charges, we ran those consecutive,” he said. “If he screws up, he’ll go to prison for up to 20 years. Whereas, an initial charge of child pornography only carries the potential of up to 15 (years).”

The Utah Attorney General’s Office wishes to thank the Beaver County law enforcement officers who assisted with this case.

Utah Man Charged For Possessing Child Pornography, Grooming 6-Year-Old Girl For Over a Year

May 28, 2020

Last week, the Utah Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force charged a Utah man after he allegedly groomed a 6-year-old girl by chatting through video and text for over a year and received sexually explicit images of her and her 6-year-old cousin.

Danny Steven Hardman, 43, was charged in the 3rd District Court with four counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, a second-degree felony.

On April 13, 2020, Facebook reported that four images of child pornography had been sent to Hardman through Facebook Messenger. The Facebook account that sent the images belonged to a 6-year-old girl in Indiana. The account was setup “as a permitted child account associated with a parent Facebook account”. In an interview with Indiana law enforcement, the mother of the victim admitted to approving the Facebook contact with Hardman and that they had met Hardman through a mutual friend and played online video games together. She denied knowledge that Hardman had been chatting with her daughter. She was able to identify the other 6-year-old girl in the photos as a cousin who often visited their home.

On May 21, 2020, agents served a search warrant on Hardman’s home. During an interview, Hardman admitted to chatting with the victim for over a year, almost every day through both video chat and Facebook Messenger. He stated that these chats would often last for over an hour but were never sexual.

The charges state that Hardman had “built a close personal relationship with the victims in this case through more than a year-long pattern of grooming behavior”.

The Court ordered bail be set at $500,000.

Woman Charged, Arrested for Sexually Abusing Child

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our communities and worlds have changed. We have adjusted to a new normal as workplaces and schools closed. During this time, the Investigation Division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office continued to work tirelessly on protecting Utahns and our communities. Below is a case Attorney General Investigators were involved in during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 13, 2020

An investigation was opened when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children discovered child pornography being distributed between Facebook accounts. After identifying Mary Jean Royce as a suspect, Utah Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators traveled to Beaver, Utah and partnered with the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office deputies engaged in saving a 2-year-old child. 

Royce, the mother of the 2-year-old girl, had filmed herself abusing the toddler in order to maintain a relationship with a man she had never met in real life. The mother was arrested and charged in March 2020 with two counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child and 10 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. The girl was taken into custody by the Utah Department of Child and Family Services.  Shortly thereafter, the man with whom the videos were shared, was contacted by the New York ICAC Task Force in coordination with Utah Attorney General’s Office’s investigation. 

The Utah Attorney General’s Office ICAC Task Force reviews and investigates thousands of these cases in Utah every year.  This is an example of a success story from the dozens received and investigated by the Attorney General’s Office.

Media coverage:

KSL: Woman filmed herself sexually abusing child, agents say

Cedar City News: In separate, unrelated cases, police arrest 2 Beaver residents on child porn charges

West Jordan Man Charged and Arrested in Child Porn Investigation During COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our communities and worlds have changed. We have adjusted to a new normal as workplaces and schools closed. During this time, the Investigation Division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office continued to work tirelessly on protecting Utahns and our communities. Below is a case Attorney General Investigators were involved in during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 12, 2020

In March 2020, two weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic, special agents with the Utah Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force worked with their affiliates in West Jordan, Utah to investigate and remove a threat to a 13-year-old girl. The adult boyfriend of a relative also living in the same house was covertly sexually exploiting the girl while she slept.  

ICAC investigators received a tip that child pornography had been uploaded to Twitter. Investigators were then able to trace the Twitter account to a home in West Jordan. Upon investigation, the keen eyes of ICAC investigators observed distinctive markings on the hands of the person taking the pictures and matched them to the boyfriend, Gorge Angel Solorsano, who was then arrested and charged in the 3rd District Court with Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child, a first degree felony; 10 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, a second-degree felony; and Voyeurism, a class A misdemeanor. Further investigation revealed over 270 files of child pornography on the social media account belonging to Solorsano. The process of helping the victim continues.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office ICAC Task Force reviews and investigates thousands of these cases in Utah every year.  This is an example of a success story from the dozens received and investigated by the Attorney General’s Office.

Media coverage:

KSL: West Jordan man charged in child porn investigation

Deseret News: West Jordan man charged in child porn investigation

Two Separate Men Arrested in Child Pornography Investigations

March 7, 2020

Two separate men were arrested this week and charged with multiple counts of child exploitation of a minor after being found in possession of child pornography by the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

45-year-old Antony Martin Holtry of Salt Lake City was arrested after search warrants in January and February by ICAC agents revealed evidence of child pornography. According to law enforcement, Holtry uploaded child pornography to his Facebook and Gmail accounts in November.

Additionally, Holtry has an extensive criminal history including threats of violence made to law enforcement. Along with the child pornography, a stolen driver’s license and firearms were found in his house.

Holtry was charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and is being held on $250,000 bail.

35-year-old Jason McKay Beckstead of Orem was arrested after he allegedly uploaded child pornography on Instagram and Tumblr. The Orem Police Department arrested Beckstead after receiving a cyber-tip from the Utah Attorney General’s Office on a suspect allegedly possessing and distributing child pornography.

On December 4, 2019, Instagram filed a cyber-tip report with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children after an image was uploaded to the social media platform that contained child pornogrpahy. On December 26, 2019, Tumblr filed a cyber-tip on reported images that contained child pornography. The email associated with both social media accounts were consistent, but the owner was unable to be identified by Attorney General’s Office agents until a judicial order was served to CenturyLink who reported the owner to be Beckstead.

Beckstead was arrested and charged with 20 second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor by the Orem Police Department. He is currently being held on $200,000 bail.

Report tips to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force at 801-281-1211 or at utahicac@agutah.gov.

Utah ICAC Task Force Arrests Vernal Man Who Possessed Over 23,000 Files of Child Porn and Child Anime Porn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2020

UTAH ICAC TASK FORCE ARRESTS VERNAL MAN WHO POSSESSED OVER 23,000 FILES OF CHILD PORN AND CHILD ANIME PORN

SALT LAKE CITY, UT– The Utah Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force arrested a man in Vernal, Utah after an investigation revealed more than 23,000 files containing child porn and child anime porn.
 
31-year-old Andrew Derek Walden is being charged with 10 felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Walden is suspected of downloading and distributing child pornography and sharing files containing child pornography via the Freenet peer-to-peer network. In addition to thousands of child porn files, Walden’s apartment contained numerous posters on the walls and magazines depicting sexually explicit anime images featuring young children.
 
While technically legal, the anime material concerns the ICAC investigators.
 
“The content that’s specifically concerning to us is the child pornography anime,” said Alan White, ICAC Commander. “If a person is into child pornographic anime, it’s not a huge step to get into child pornography itself, or for that matter to abuse a child.”
 
Walden is being held without bail in Uintah County as he is considered to be a substantial danger to the community and is likely to flee if released.

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ICAC Task Force Combats Proliferation of Child Sex Abuse Images

October 1, 2019

The proliferation of images and videos featuring the sexual abuse and torture of children, often referred to as child pornography, has increased exponentially over the years. Last year, tech companies reported an astounding 45 million online photos and videos of children being sexually abused.

By Rich Harris | New York Times | Source: The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Utah is not immune to the rapid expansion of this epidemic. The Utah Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force in inundated with combatting child sexual abuse in the State of Utah. Recently, the New York Times featured the ICAC Task Force in an article reporting on the increasing amount of reported child sexual abuse imagery in an increasingly virtual age.  

It was a sunny afternoon in July, and an unmarked police van in Salt Lake City was parked outside a pink stucco house. Garden gnomes and a heart-shaped “Welcome Friends” sign decorated the front yard.

At the back of the van, a man who lived in the house was seated in a cramped interrogation area, while officers cataloged hard drives and sifted through web histories from his computers.

The man had shared sexually explicit videos online, the police said, including one of a 10-year-old boy being “orally sodomized” by a man, and another of a man forcing two young boys to engage in anal intercourse.

“The sad thing is that’s pretty tame compared to what we’ve seen,” said Chief Jessica Farnsworth, an official with the Utah Attorney General’s Office who led a raid of the house. The victims have not been identified or rescued.

The year was barely half over, and Chief Farnsworth’s team had already conducted about 150 such raids across Utah. The specially trained group, one of 61 nationwide, coordinates state and regional responses to internet crimes against children.

The Utah group expects to arrest nearly twice as many people this year as last year for crimes related to child sexual abuse material, but federal funding has not kept pace with the surge. Funding for the 61 task forces from 2010 to 2018 remained relatively flat, federal data shows, while the number of leads referred to them increased by more than 400 percent.

Much of the federal money goes toward training new staff members because the cases take a heavy emotional and psychological toll on investigators, resulting in constant turnover.

The Internet is Overrun with Images of Child Sexual Abuse. What Went Wrong?

By Michael H. Keller and Gabriel J.X. Dance

To read the rest of the article go here.  

Investigators in Salt Lake City searching a home for abuse content. Confiscated electronic material in a mobile forensics lab. Jessica Farnsworth, an official with the Utah attorney general’s office who oversaw the operation. | Kholood Eid for The New York Times


The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) is a multi-jurisdictional task force that investigates and prosecutes individuals who use the Internet to exploit children. The Utah Attorney General (UAG) ICAC Task Force was created in 2000 and is now one of 61 ICAC task forces in the country. They focus on crimes related to sexual exploitation of a minor – whether possessing, distributing, or manufacturing child pornography, enticing minors over the internet, or exchanging material deemed harmful to minors. The UAG ICAC Task Force has 32 local, state, and federal police agencies involved in the task force.

You can learn more about ICAC and how to keep your family safe, check out the ICAC Task Force here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/justice/internet-crimes-against-children-icac-task-force.

Hurricane Man Sentenced to Jail After Attempting to Meet with Minor for Sex

July 25, 2019

A man from Hurricane, Utah was sentenced to jail on one third-degree felony count of enticing a minor by internet or text after he arranged to meet with what he believed to be a 13-year-old boy for sex.

Ross Robert Woolsey, a 50-year-old man, was first arrested along with six other men during a four-day sting operation conducted by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and Washington County Attorney’s Office.

Woolsey will serve 180 days at the Purgatory Correction Facility. Additionally, he will pay a $1,500 fine and will be placed on 36 months of probation with Adult Probation and Parole where he will be subject to all class A sex-offender requirements and restrictions. Woolsey will participate in substance abuse evaluation and treatment, sex offender treatment, DNA testing, random searches of computers, phones, or other internet-able devices, and will be prohibited from visiting any areas that children congregate – such as schools, parks, and community pools. Additionally, he is prohibited from having contact with any children under the age of 18 without prior approval from Adult Probation and Parole.


News coverage of the 2018 November ICAC Operation:

St. George News: Police arrest 7 men accused of attempting to meet boys, girls for sex
The Spectrum: 7 men accused of trying to meet with minors for sex in Washington County
KUTV: 6 men arrested for attempting to meet minors for sex in Washington County
ABC4: 7 men arrested accused of trying to meet minors for sex

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