Felony Charges for Utah Teen Who Viewed and Reposted Child Pornography Found Online

An 18 year old Utah teen has been charged with felony sexual exploitation of a minor after he views and reposted multiple images of child pornography that he found online.

Viewed and shared

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18 year old Isaiah Weaver of Eagle Mountain, Utah was arrested after authorities discovered the teen had posted pornographic pictures of children on the popular platform Tumblr. Weaver was not the one responsible for producing the illegal pictures or even posting them online originally. According to police, Weaver came across the pictures and after viewing them, he reposted them on his account so he could find them again easily. He now faces two second degree felonies for sexual exploitation of a minor.

Sexual exploitation of a minor

Utah Code

states: “A person is guilty of sexual exploitation of a minor:

(a) 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] it is a separate offense . . . for each minor depicted in the child pornography; and for each time the same minor is depicted in different child pornography.” 18 year old Weaver faces two second felonies for sexual exploitation of a minor, each punishable by one to 15 years in prison.

No filters and unwise choices

With easy, often unfiltered access to the internet available 24/7, many teens are likely to stumble across pornographic material including those depicting children. While accidental viewing of such material will not land a young man like Weaver in prison, intentionally viewing and even privately saving the illegal images is punishable by Utah Law. For more information on child pornography charges or other legal issues that may arise from internet use, contact a criminal or juvenile defense attorney.

15 year old Utah Teen Facing Multiple Charges for Drunk Driving and Aggravated Assault

A 15 year old teen from Ogden Utah was arrested for a drunk driving incident that left multiple vehicles damaged and other individuals assaulted.

Downward spiral

Photo by: Nick Harris

A 15 year old juvenile who is not being named due to his age was driving a car at excessive speeds while intoxicated when he crashed into multiple vehicles before leaving the vehicle and illegally entering a random Ogden home. There he threatened and assaulted the homeowner as well as officers who had arrived on scene. The teen who was behaving in a drunken and aggressive manner is facing multiple charges including breaking and entering, aggravated assault and driving while intoxicated.

Angry teen or drunk teen

Little is known about the teen involved in the story, however it is possible his use of alcohol heightened feelings of anger and aggression which he took out on innocent individuals such as the homeowner. Alcohol has a tendency to affect teenagers and young adults in different ways: Some lose all inhibitions and become more sociable; others are quiet, maybe bordering on melancholy; and many find their anger and aggressiveness peak when they’ve been drinking.

Alcohol and teen aggression

According to the US National Library of Medicine, aggressiveness is very common among adolescents who use alcohol. They state “. . . a relationship between alcohol/drug use and aggressive behavior is apparent” and that “medium to heavy drinkers expect to experience more aggressiveness after drinking.” The also warn that “alcohol plays a significant role in adolescent deaths due to accidents, homicides and suicides, acts of sexual aggression and criminality.” Hopefully the teen involved will be able to soberly evaluate the choices he made while intoxicated and receive the help he needs to mature into a responsible and calmer adult.

Utah Teen Dies after Trespassing on Roof of Building

A 17 year old Utah teen is dead after trespassing on the roof of a Murray building with his friends.

Trespassing results in death

Photo by MySecuritySign.com

The 17 year old teen along with two friends had made their way past a fence and onto the roof a building in Murray Utah that was being renovated when the teen somehow fell through the roof, falling to his death. Despite the fence as a barrier and signs instructing people to stay clear of the area, the teens made the fatal mistake to trespass onto the property.

No trespassing for safety

There are several reasons why fences and no trespassing signs are listed on buildings and edges of property. Often this is due to Utah residents and businesses attempting to keep loitering down or to protect their property from theft or vandalism. One of the key reasons however for a property owner to ask the public not to trespass is to prevent others from injury or death.

Criminal charges

Any teens thinking of trespassing where they are not allowed should be warned that beyond the danger that trespassing poses, there are also legal reasons to obey “keep out” signs and barrier fences. According to Utah Code 76-6-206, “A person is guilty of criminal trespass if . . .

(b) knowing the person’s . . . presence is unlawful, the person enters or remains on . . . property to which notice against entering is given by:

(i) personal communication to the person by the owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;

(ii) fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders; or

(iii) posting of signs reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders”.

Punishments and consequences

Trespassing is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Due to the uppermost punishment of already losing a friend, it is possible the friends of the teen killed may not face charges for trespassing. For those who do face charges, contact a juvenile defense attorney.

Utah Students Arrested for Making Terrorist Threats against High School

Three Utah students from Duchesne were arrested for making terrorist threats against their high school after other teens reported the plan to school officials.

Planned shooting and explosion

Photo by: Tony Webster

The three Utah teens, ranging in ages between 14 and 15 were arrested for making terrorist threats after they made plans to build and use a firearm and explosives at their school. Other teens found out about the plan and alerted school officials who immediately contacted authorities and put the school on lockdown. Although no firearms or weapons of mass destruction were found in the boy’s possession or in their lockers or home, authorities did confiscate a couple knives as well as written plans on building an explosive device. The boys were arrested for making terrorist threats and taken to a juvenile detention center.

Terrorist threats

Utah Code 76-5-107.3 states a person makes [terrorist threats] if the person threatens to commit any offense involving bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, and:

(a) (i) threatens the use of a weapon of mass destruction . . . ; or

(ii) threatens the use of a hoax weapon of mass destruction . . . ; or

(b) acts with intent to:

(i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to influence or affect the conduct of a government or a unit of government;

(ii) prevent or interrupt the occupation of a building or a portion of the building, a place to which the public has access, or a facility or vehicle of public transportation operated by a common carrier; or

(iii)cause an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies to take action due to the person’s conduct posing a serious and substantial risk to the general public.”

Making terrorist threats can result in penalties ranging from a class B misdemeanor to a second degree felony. Threatening to use an explosive on the population of a high school is liable to bring about the higher of those charges.

Motive

At this time there is no known motive as to why the three teens would want to set off explosives at their school. Are they violent individuals who truly wanted to inflict as much pain and damage as possible to their school and peers? Were they acting out towards peers who had bullied or harassed them? Or perhaps this was a troubled attempt for them to gain the attention of their parents, teachers or classmates. As the investigation continues, more will come to light on the mental stability of the teens involved and whether or not this was an actual threat or a petition for help. For more information on crimes committed by teens and how mental health evaluation plays a role in punishment for those crimes, contact a juvenile defense attorney.

School Truancy Laws in Utah

As kids head back to school after the long winter break, parents should take the opportunity to talk to their teens about school truancy laws in Utah.

Mandatory school attendance

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With the second half of the school year upon Utah families, minors may begin feeling more indifferent about their school attendance. Although most kids have a healthy fear of getting in trouble with their parents, they may not realize ditching school can result in legal penalties as well. According to Utah State Law, students between the ages of six and eighteen years old are expected to be enrolled and attending school until they graduate. Failure to enroll or attend school will end in trouble for the student and the parent.

Habitual truant

Ditching school once or twice won’t get a kid in legal trouble, but if they start missing too many days without a valid excuse such as illness or school related activity, school administrators take more notice and may claim the minor is a habitual truant. Utah Code 53A-11-101 defines a habitual truant as “a school-age minor who:

a) Is at least 12 years old;
b) Is subject to the [Compulsory Education] requirements (…) and;
c) (i) is truant at least 10 times during one school year; or
(ii) Fails to cooperate with efforts on the part of school authorities to resolve the minor’s attendance problem as required ( . . . )”

Cited and punished

Once a student has at least five absences that are not excused, they along with their parents are issued a compulsory education violation and expected to meet with school administration to discuss attendance. Utah Code 53A-11-101.5 warns that if they fail to meet with the school or are truant an additional 5 days or more, the parents of students may face a class B misdemeanor for not ensuring their kids are in school and the student may be fined and taken to a truancy support center. For more information regarding truancy laws, it is recommended to speak to your child’s school administrators or an attorney.