2 arrests made for sexual exploitation of minor in Washington County

Decius Christopher Duran (left) and Nathan Michael Hill. Photo Courtesy: Washington County Sheriff's Office

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah, Nov. 3, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two suspects after reportedly finding evidence they were involved with pornographic images of children. One man arrested is a student at Dixie State University.

Lt. David R. Crouse said the arrests followed the execution of several search warrants in the Washington County area by local detectives and investigators from the Utah Attorney General’s Office ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Task Force.

Information regarding the suspects was reported to the ICAC team for initial analysis. The leads were then assigned to local detectives with the sheriff’s office for follow up. During the investigation, several suspects were identified. Investigators from both agencies gave top priority to suspects believed to be putting children in imminent danger.

Nine tips were investigated by detectives with assistance from the ICAC Task Force, and two of the investigations resulted in arrests.

On Wednesday, detectives and ICAC Task Force members arrested Decius Christopher Duran, a Dixie State University student who was living in campus housing.

A search warrant was executed on Duran’s phone, which officers say revealed numerous stored images of pornographic material involving both male and female children. The images depicted sexual acts that involved adults as well as acts between two children, according to a news release.

During an interview, Duran admitted to being a registered sex offender as the result of a prior investigation in the state of Alabama. Duran is being held on $100,000 cash-only bail pending his initial appearance in the Fifth District Court.

On Tuesday, officers arrested St. George resident Nathan Michael Hill on two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. This investigation involved pictures of a nude 1- to 2-year-old girl depicted in sexual situations alongside a naked adult male.

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Detectives said they were able to recover an additional 20 images of child pornography along with pictures of young females in bathing suits. The bathing suit photos appear to have been taken covertly, the news release said.

Hill is being held on $25,000 cash-only bail pending his appearance in the Fifth District Court.

In some cases, investigators took the opportunity to educate the families when the cases involved youths sending photos to other youths. The remaining investigations were concluded by filing criminal complaints with the prosecuting attorney or with exoneration of the suspect.

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