SALT LAKE CITY December 9, 2016 – The Utah Attorney General’s Office announces the guilty conviction of Emilio Daniel Chavez, age 26, on four counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, all second-degree felonies, in Third District Court. During an investigation by the Utah AGO’s Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, investigators found over 1,385 images of interest on Chavez’s computer.
“Few things are as tragic as the sexual exploitation of children and my Office will always fight to bring to justice those who take advantage of the young and vulnerable,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “I congratulate Assistant Attorneys General Cynthia Poulson and Ken Burgraaff, as well as Section Director Shelley Coudreaut and Division Director Greg Ferbrache, for their work on this case. I also congratulate and thank the ICAC Task Force investigators who, because they often work undercover, fail to get the recognition they deserve.”
Chavez admitted to investigators that he owned the password-protected computer and admitted to downloading the images for his sexual gratification. Of the 1,385 images found on Chavez’s computer, the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children identified four of the images as known identified child victims. Assistant Attorney General Cynthia Poulson charged the defendant with four counts of second-degree felony Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.
At a three-day trial, AAGs Poulson and Burggraaf presented the State’s case to the jury. In his defense, Chavez took the stand and testified he had no knowledge of the images and implied that investigators had lied about his confession.
Ultimately, the jury did not believe Chavez’s version of events and found the testimony of the investigators to be credible and persuasive stating “the forensic evidence in the case and defendants internet history were very helpful considerations” in coming to their decision. Chavez is scheduled for sentencing on January 17, 2017.
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