FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2019
ICAC TASK FORCE WRAPS OPERATION WITH THIRTEEN ARRESTS
Over 45 Charges Issued to Offenders Arrested in Utah County
SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes announced the arrest of thirteen individuals in Utah County following a recent operation targeting child sexual predators. Charges include Enticing a Minor, Attempted Rape of a Child, Attempted Sodomy of a Child, Attempted Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child, Attempted Forcible Sexual Abuse, Criminal Solicitation, and more, for a total of 48 charges.
“The bad news is the information we are sharing today is grim in nature and shows that there are adults in our communities who appear to be actively and aggressively trying to have sexual contact with Utah children,” said Attorney General Reyes. “My office works with children who are actual victims of sexual abuse and rape; we see these children and the trauma they suffer. That’s why we perform these operations, and why we’re so committed to preventing harm where we can and prosecuting every possible crime against children that we can. Our goal is to prevent this kind of trauma from happening to even one more child.”
The investigation, led by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, indicated the suspects primarily targeted boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 13 years old. These suspects, if convicted, would be considered among the most dangerous and aggressive child predators because their activity indicates a plan to engage in sexual contact with a minor.
Based on the number of cases law enforcement agencies have handled across the state, evidence shows that this problem has become more pervasive in the last year.
Attorney General Reyes addressed that troubling trend today during a press conference alongside ICAC officers from the Provo Police Department, Orem Police Department, Utah County Sheriff’s office, Uintah County Sheriff’s office, Dixie State University Police, Davis County Attorney’s office, and Adult Probation and Parole who all participated in the operation.
Keeping Children Safe
The Utah Attorney General’s ICAC Education Specialist has the following tips:
- As schools lets out and summer starts, this is a good time to remind children that they should never meet anyone they met online.
- Be aware of the websites and apps your children are using.
- A current list of popular apps and websites can be found here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Parent-App-Resource-Sheet.pdf.
As community members, our role is to help protect children. If you know of anyone who is contacting children, please call your local law enforcement or the ICAC Tip Line at 801-281-1211.
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- All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
- 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.
- You can find a list of the alleged offenders and charges here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Criminal-Charges-from-Utah-County-Attorneys-Office-.pdf.
- You can find the booking photos here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/icac-operation-booking-photos/.