Babysitter arrested for Child Pornography Charges

A Washington babysitter has been arrested for child pornography charges after police discovered she had been sharing multiple pictures depicting sexual acts with children.

Babysitter for hire

18 year old Victoria Del Carmon of Pierce County, Washington was arrested last week after authorities discovered she had been downloading and sharing sexually explicit images of children online. Police were concerned to discover that Del Carmon was a babysitter for hire, posting her availability for services on websites such as the popular Care.com. Upon searching Del Carmon’s home, police found doll parts, diapers and other items for babies as well as digital recordings of conversations discussing sexual acts with children.

Child Pornography

Police are worried due to Del Carmon’s babysitting history, that there may be other children out there who have been victimized. Until they discover other cases, Del Carmon is being charged with four counts of possession of child pornography. In the state of Utah, possession of child pornography is known as 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. . .”
Sexual exploitation of a minor is a second degree felony. Enhanced charges occur when the person guilty is a parent or legal guardian.

References and nanny cams

Parents who entrust the care of their children to strangers are encouraged to seek multiple references and install nanny cams to ensure their children are not being abused. Caretakers and babysitters arrested for crimes against children they watch should immediately consult with an attorney.

Discarded DNA Links Utah Teen to Attack on Church Organist

Five months following an attack on an elderly organist at a church in Centerville, Utah, a 17 year old teen has been arrested after his discarded DNA was linked to the crime scene.

Late night practice

On November 17, 2018 a 71 year old woman was practicing the organ at church late one night when someone broke into the building, came up behind her, and choked her repeatedly. The woman survived but the person responsible for attempting to strangle her was not apprehended until five months later.

Evidence at the scene

The person who choked the woman also broke a window into the church, leaving behind their DNA on the broken glass as well as other objects in the building. Police collected the DNA but did not arrest anyone immediately. The 17 year old teen was apparently a suspect in the case, however it took five months before he was apprehended. This could be because the teen did not have a criminal record yet and was not in the National DNA Index.

DNA Database

When DNA of a suspect is collected at a crime scene, the National DNA Index is accessed to see if the suspect is already in the system, making it easy to find and prosecute them. According to FBI.gov, “The DNA Identification Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. §14132) authorized the establishment of this National DNA Index. The DNA Act specifies the categories of data that may be maintained in NDIS (convicted offenders, arrestees, legal, detainees, forensic [casework], unidentified human remains, missing persons, and relatives of missing persons) as well as requirements for participating laboratories relating to quality assurance, privacy, and expungement.” If the person is not in the system, investigators have to find other ways of lawfully obtaining a DNA sample.

Collecting DNA

After the teen was apprehended for the 5 month-old crime, Centerville Police stated that “Detectives were able to collect DNA evidence left behind on discarded objects by the person of interest.” Discarded objects that have DNA on them may consist of cigarettes, cups, gum, tissue, bandaids, and anything else that came in contact with a person’s bodily fluids. Touch DNA may have been used as well to collect samples of skin cells left on handled objects, although that method has a higher rate of false positives.

Publicly discarded DNA

When it comes to collecting DNA or any items seized in a search, law enforcement must obtain a warrant before searching items on a person or their personal property. If a person discards items with their DNA on them in a public area such as a trash can on a sidewalk, those items can be picked up by anyone passing by, including law enforcement.For more information on criminal charges following the collection of DNA, contact a defense attorney to ensure all search and seizures were done within the protective boundaries set in place by the Fourth Amendment.

Teenage Girl Charged With Arson and Damage Of Utah Churches

An 18 year old teenage girl has been charged with arson for arson and damage to multiple churches in Orem, Utah.

Arson and damage to churches

Photo by: Joe Lodge

Two churches in Orem, Utah were damaged by an individual who broke doors and wrote satanic messages in permanent marker. Additionally, someone had poured gasoline in or near both of the churches yet only one had been set on fire. Police were able to quickly extinguish the small fires found within the single church. While attempting to locate the individual responsible, police located 18 year old Jillian Robinson of Lindon, Utah who was in possession of a permanent marker, burglary tools, gasoline, and a lighter. Police determined Robinson to be the one responsible after her possessions matched those possibly used to damage and commit arson to the churches. While originally denying her involvement, Robinson later admitted to police that she was angry and did not target the church specifically.

Arson and other charges

Robinson was booked into the Utah County jail on charges of arson, burglary, possessing burglary tools as well as criminal mischief. Utah Code 76-6-102 states “A person is guilty of arson if, under the circumstances not amounting to aggravated arson, the person by means of fire or explosives unlawfully and intentionally damages . . . the property of another.” Arson is a second degree felony if the damages of the event exceeds $5,000 in value. The damage caused by Robinson is said to be estimated around $600,000. Beyond the second degree arson charge, the 18 year old Robinson is also facing a third degree felony burglary charge as well as additional charges for possessing the burglary tools and criminal mischief.

Dealing with police

Photo by: Scott Davidson

Robinson has already admitted to her crimes and will need a good criminal defense lawyer as she prepares to have her case heard before a judge. Teens and young adults such as Robinson should be educated of their options prior to and following an arrest to avoid unnecessarily incriminating themselves. A couple things to keep in mind:

  • The released information about Robinson’s case does not include whether she consented to a search of her backpack containing the incriminating items or if officers claimed there was reasonable suspicion to suspect her of a crime. Teens should know when they are dealing with police that they have the right to state their lack of consent to a search without getting in the way of police who will search anyway.
  • Records indicated that Robinson agreed to make an incriminating statement to police about her involvement in the arson. It doesn’t state whether or not she agreed to the statement on her own or while accompanied by an attorney. Many young adults and especially teens do not realize that they have the right to request an attorney before they talk to police. Being represented by an attorney will help teens ensure they are being treated fairly and not admitting to more than they should.

Parents of teens and young adults are encouraged to educate their youth on their rights when dealing with police. Being prepared with this knowledge could help teens if they ever should face charges.

15 Year old Utah Teen Playing With Shotgun Arrested For Felony Manslaughter of Brother

A 15 year old Kearns, Utah teen was arrested for felony manslaughter after the boy was playing with a shotgun and fired a deadly shot at his step-brother.

Dangerous play

16 year old Jerrad Jacobsen and his 15 year old step-brother were in Jacobsen’s bedroom with a loaded weapon before school when Jacobsen was fatally shot in the head. The original statement from the step-brother stated Jacobsen accidentally shot himself while the step-brother was turned around but the story was later revised to affirm the 15 year old was the one with the gun. The mother of the deceased claims the shooting to be non-accidental, yet intent to kill has not been proven. Police have arrested and charged the step-brother with second degree manslaughter as well as obstruction of justice.

Manslaughter

After police again questioned the teen about the fatal incident, the step-brother admitted he was the one with shotgun. He told police he pointed the gun at Jacobsen and pulled the trigger. The teen claims it was an accident as he was unaware the gun was loaded. Even if the death was an accident, it was something that could have been avoided had the teen not been behaving in a careless manner. The 15 year old is charged with “. . . recklessly caus[ing] the death of another”, which Utah Code 76-5-205 defines as manslaughter, a second degree felony. At this time, investigators have not found evidence to support the claim that Jacobsen’s death was done on purpose. If the step-brother’s actions are found to be intentional, he could face first-degree homicide charges.

Obstruction of justice

The 15 year old step-brother is also facing a third degree felony for obstruction of justice since he initially lied to police about who had the gun when it went off. Utah Code 76-8-306 states: “An actor commits obstruction of justice if the actor, with intent to hinder, delay, or prevent the investigation, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of any person regarding conduct that constitutes a criminal offense:. . . provides false information regarding a suspect, a witness, the conduct constituting an offense, or any other material aspect of the investigation.”

Gun safety and education

This fatal incident is a reminder to all parents to teach their children about gun safety and to ensure that any firearms in the home are unloaded and out of children’s reach. Teens who may be in regular control of a firearm under a parent’s guidance should participate in a gun education course to help ensure they practice responsible behavior around firearms and know how to safely handle and unload a weapon. Any teens facing legal trouble should consult with an attorney who can help guide  them to be honest during questioning  without further incriminating themselves of a crime .

Aggravated Assault Charges for Utah Teen who Attacked Pregnant Girlfriend

A Utah teen has been charged with aggravated assault for an attack on his pregnant girlfriend that was done in the hopes to cause a miscarriage.

Attack on pregnant girlfriend

Photo by: Ernestro Andrade

18 year old Trevor Knudson of St. George, Utah was arrested after his 16 year old girlfriend contacted police stating that she had been physically assaulted. The teen who is pregnant with Knudson’s child told police that Knudson wanted her to miscarry and so he proceeded to punch and kick the pregnant teen in the stomach multiple times before throwing her against a wall. Knudson, who was not said to be represented by an attorney, openly agreed with the victim’s statement to police.

Aggravated assault

Knudson was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility on charges of aggravated assault which is defined by Utah Code 76-5-103 as “. . . conduct that is:

i. An attempt, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another;
ii. A threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; or
iii. An act, committed with unlawful force or violence, that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another; and . . . includes the use of a dangerous weapon . . . any act that impedes the breathing or the circulation of blood . . . or other means of force likely to produce death or serious bodily injury.”

Felony charges

Police have not released any information on condition of the pregnant teen or the unborn baby other than the fact that she waited until the morning after the incident to contact police. Additionally, Knudson was booked on third degree aggravated assault charges; charges that would have been enhanced to second degree had the assault resulted in serious bodily injury. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine no greater than $5,000. Anyone facing criminal charges such as aggravated assault should seek an attorney prior to police questioning. Soon to be parents of any age who may feel distraught or anxious about the upcoming birth of a child are encouraged to contact their local health department for helpful options such as parenting classes or mental health services.