SPANISH FORK, Sept. 15, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A Spanish Fork man charged last month with six counts of exploitation of a minor was rearrested this week and is now facing 14 additional felony charges.
Gary Lee Bell, 66, is a former attorney with the Utah Attorney General’s Office and worked in the Child Protection Division.
Bell was allowed to bail out of the Utah County Jail after his Aug. 24 arrest, and has now been rearrested and ordered held without bail.
On Tuesday, Bell was booked on new charges of:
- Aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony
- Sodomy on a child, a first-degree felony
- 12 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony
The original charges were connected to exploitation of girls believed to be between ages 6 and 8.
Utah County Sheriff’s officials say the newly discovered images show Bell at his residence, partially unclothed and interacting with a baby girl, age 1 or 2.
The nine photos in the series were found on an SD card taken into evidence last month when a search warrant was served on Bell’s residence. The photos were determined to have been taken by a phone the same model as the one seized during the warranted search.
That investigation was the result of a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tip stated that someone with Bell’s email address had uploaded child sex abuse images on May 22 of this year. The images depict one or more prepubescent girls, posed to display private parts.
After an investigator found the additional images in seized files that had not previously been open, Bell was rearrested Tuesday, according to a probable cause statement filed by an officer of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
“I responded to the above address and arrested Gary Bell and transported him to the Utah County Jail,” the affidavit says.
“While en route to the jail Gary stated he thought the photos and video were erased because he was disgusted with himself over them.”
Between the original and new charges, Bell now faces 20 felony charges, two of them first-degree felonies and the rest second-degree felonies.
Gephardt Daily will have additional information as the case develops.