Utah Teenager Pretends to Be a Woman Online – Obtains Nude Photos from Young Boys

A 19 year old Utah teenager was arrested after police discovered the teen was pretending to be an woman online in an attempt to obtain nude photos from young boys.

Not a filter

Photo by: David Burillo

Several young boys were reported to have sent nude photos of themselves via social media after being requested to do so by a very attractive woman named “Jessica Ford”. Unknown to the young juveniles, “Jessica Ford” was in fact a 19 year old teenage boy named James Robert Louis Wood who was using random pictures of a woman to gain the boys trust. Wood pretended to be “Jessica Ford” and sent pornographic photos of a woman to the boys, asking them to give pictures of themselves in return; which they did. Over the course of two months, Wood had obtained nude photos from at least eleven young boys. Wood then shared these pictures at school and even sent some to one of the victim’s siblings.

Sexual exploitation of a minor

Woods was charged with dealing harmful materials to a minor and for multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Utah Code 76-5b-201 states “A person is guilty of sexual exploitation of a minor when the person:

(i) knowingly produces, possesses, or possesses with intent to distribute child pornography; or
(ii) intentionally distributes or views child pornography ( . . . )”.

“Each minor depicted in the child pornography [and] each time the same minor is depicted in different child pornography” it is considered a separate defense. Wood is facing twelve second degree felonies for sexual exploitation of a minor and ten third degree felonies for dealing harmful material to a minor.

Hefty charges for serious crimes

Photo by: houstondwiPhotos mp

So far nothing has been disclosed stating Wood’s intent with the pictures. He may have been posing as a woman and collecting nudes from the boys for his own sexual gratification or it may have been done as a prank; something he could show off at school or used to torment a sibling of one of the boys. Regardless, Wood’s is facing substantial fines and several years in prison and an even longer duration of time on the National Sex Offender Registry. Anyone facing charges related to child pornography is encouraged to seek a reputable criminal defense attorney before appearing in court.

Utah Sexting Laws

With the majority of Utah kids having their first cell phone by age 10-12, it is important that parents discuss sexting laws and how they apply to minors.

Utah Sexting Laws
Photo by: Summer Skyes 11

Electronic dirty talk

One practice that continues to rise in popularity among Utah teens is sexting. According to dictionary.com, sexting is defined as “the sending of sexually explicit photos, images, text messages, or e-mails by using a cell phone or other mobile device.” While many teens get away with sexting time and time again, it is against the law and will result in criminal penalties if they are caught.

Utah sexting laws

Currently every state has a law that criminalizes sexting that includes images of minors, although many states group sexting in with child pornography or sexual exploitation of a minor. There are three laws in the Utah State Code that teens should be aware of before they send, receive, or share explicit images or videos of other teens.

Sexual exploitation of a minor

According to Utah Code 76-5b-201, “(1) A person is guilty of sexual exploitation of a minor: when the person:

(i) knowingly produces, possesses, or possesses with intent to distribute child pornography; or

(ii) intentionally distributes or views child pornography; ( . . . )

Sexual exploitation of a minor is a second degree felony and charges for sexual exploitation of a minor can be multiplied depending on how many minors are depicted and/or how many times the same minor appears in different pictures or videos.

Giving explicit material to minors

Photo by: Leo Hildalgo
Photo by: Leo Hildalgo

Utah Code 76-10-1206 warns “(1)A person is guilty of dealing in material harmful to minors when, knowing or believing that a person is a minor, or having negligently failed to determine the proper age of a minor, the person intentionally:

(a) distributes or offers to distribute, or exhibits or offers to exhibit, to a ( . . . ), any material harmful to minors;

(b) produces, performs, or directs any performance, before a minor ( . . . ) that is harmful to minors; or

(c) participates in any performance, before a minor ( . . . ) that is harmful to minors.

(2) (a) Each separate offense under this section committed by a person 18 years of age or older is a third degree felony ( . . . )

(b) Each separate offense under this section committed by a person 16 or 17 years of age is a class A misdemeanor.

(c) Each separate offense under this section committed by a person younger than 16 years of age is a class B misdemeanor.”

Distributing porn

Utah code 76-10-1203 states “(1) Any material or performance is pornographic if:

(a) The average person, applying contemporary community standards, finds that, taken as a whole, it appeals to prurient interest in sex;

(b) It is patently offensive in the description or depiction of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, sadomasochistic abuse, or excretion; and

(c) Taken as a whole it does not have serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”

If someone shares or otherwise distributes or attempts to distribute pornographic material, adults 18 and older may face a third degree felony for each item of pornographic material shared or produced while 16-17 year olds face a class A misdemeanor, and under 16 year olds face a class B misdemeanor.

Photo by: Maurizio Pesce
Photo by: Maurizio Pesce

What’s posted on the internet stays on the internet

With so many options to “delete” content shared, too many teens have the false sense of security that they can share a picture or video briefly and never have to worry about it again. Unfortunately, what’s posted on the internet stays on the internet. Besides other individuals who screenshot or otherwise save things they’ve been sent online, the internet has a way of somehow storing embarrassing or incriminating pictures forever. It is important to warn teens that sexually explicit images or videos that are shared can resurface and that type of content will result in criminal charges.

Utah Teenager Arrested For First Degree Sodomy of a 3 Year old

A 14 year old teenager from Cedar City Utah was arrested for sodomy for sexually abusing his 3 year old relative.

Sexual abuse of a family member

Sodomy on a Child
Photo by: Matt Walker

The allegations of sodomy on a child stem from an incident that took place in the early part of December 2016 where the 14 year old teenager sodomized a 3 year old who was related to the teen, but not a living in the same home. The teen was charged with first degree sodomy on a child and referred to 5th District Juvenile Court.

First degree sodomy on a child

Utah Code 76-5-403.1 states “a person commits sodomy upon a child if the actor engages in any sexual act upon or with a child who is under the age of 14, involving the genitals or anus of the actor or the child and the mouth or anus of either person, regardless of the sex of either participant.” Sodomy on a child is a first degree felony.

No slap on the wrist for juvenile offenders

Many parents believe that when a crime is committed by a minor, the courts will show leniency or “go easier” on a juvenile. This is not always the case. In many instances, especially those involving first degree felonies, end up with the juvenile being charged as an adult. This is especially common in cases against 16-17 year old minors.

Juvenile defense attorney

If the Cedar City teenager in this case was tried as an adult for sodomy on a child, he would be facing imprisonment of 25 years to life or life without parole if the sexual abuse caused any serious bodily injury to the victim. If convicted as a minor he may still be incarcerated in juvenile detention until he reaches the age of 21. Either case would end in the boy being incarcerated before he is even old enough to drive and throughout at least the rest of his teen years. It is always best to consult with a juvenile defense attorney regarding any charges against minors, to obtain the best possible outcome with more treatment and less time behind bars.

Teen Sexting For All to See

Even though teen sexting has been a concern of many parents, educators and lawmakers for quite awhile, a new study shows how long-lasting the effects of sexting can truly be.

Photo: Shawn Rossi

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a United Kingdom-based organization, recently released their data on the long-term problems that teen sexting can present for youth who take explicit pictures of themselves.

Sexting is the term used for sharing sexually revealing pictures of yourself online. The IWF study discovered that 88% of a portion of explicit pictures and videos uploaded by juveniles made it onto websites other than the ones they were originally found on—in less than a week’s time.

In other words, a teen could sext a picture of himself to a friend or post a picture on his blog, but that same picture might easily end up on a pornographic website elsewhere. Additionally, the study showed that once a picture has been copied to another site deleting it is nearly impossible.

While it might seem fun and exciting now, teen sexting can come back to haunt you later. Think before you send any info—pictures or words—to another individual. Once out, you can’t take them back.

Parents need to talk to their kids about the problems relating to teen sexting. Kids have enough worries in this world without adding to them by getting themselves in legal, school or personal trouble.

If you are the parent of a kid being investigated for or charged with sexting, take time to contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney. Do your child a favor and get him the help he needs.

RAPE

The repercussions of being convicted of rape or of any other sex crime are so extensive that it cannot be over emphasized how important it is to hire a qualified attorney as early as possible.

Rape is one of the most serious charges to face, and at the same time it is one of the most difficult to defend if the accusation is false. A rape trial often turns into a battle of he said/she said with the jury determining the credibility of the witnesses.

If convicted of rape a defendant could face up to life in prison. It is also important to keep in mind that if convicted of certain sex offenses, a defendant is not eligible for probation and faces a mandatory prison sentence. In addition, a person convicted of rape would have to register as a sex offender.