Man charged with damaging Logan Temple in 2019 now facing child exploitation charge

Peter Abraham Ambrose. 2019 Photo: Cache County Jail

CACHE COUNTY, Utah, Nov. 20, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A man charged with vandalizing the Logan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Christmas Eve day in 2019 is facing a new charge.

Peter Abraham Ambrose, 36, now faces a single charge of sexual exploitation of  a minor, a second-degree felony, filed on Thursday, Nov. 18.

A probable cause statement in the exploitation case by an officer of the Smithfield Police Department says an Adult Parole and Probation officer observed a Facebook group on Ambrose’s cell phone.

“They discovered a large group chat where people shared sexually explicit images via the Facebook application,” the Smithfield officer’s statement says. “The probation officer was searching the phone for possible probation violations when they saw explicit images of what appeared to be a juvenile aged female.

“Probation officers asked Ambrose about the images stating some of the girls looked young and Ambrose said, ‘If the parents give permission to share then it’s OK.'”

A search warrant was granted, and the phone was searched, leading to “the discovery of a Facebook group chat that had several hundred members sharing explicit photos,” the officer’s statement says.

“I found a video of a female who is obviously a juvenile based on clear signs of underdeveloped female body parts taking her clothes off and posing nude showing her entire body” in a suggestive manner, the statement says.

The identity of the child, who is “clearly younger 18,” is unknown, the statement says.

Ambrose was booked into jail, and is being held without bail, court records show.

2019 Temple break-in

In the December 2019 case, a Logan City Police officer responded to the LDS Temple on a report of a burglary.

“I arrived on scene with assisting officers and found broken glass on the east entry doors and windows,” the probable cause statement in that case says. “We entered the building and located multiple paintings torn off the wall and damaged, multiple artificial plants damages, some curtains torn down and damaged, an axe smashed through a mirror and stuck into the wall. The was also a fire extinguisher that was set off with the residue spread all over the floor and furniture. The fire extinguisher was found smashed into a vent on a door.”

Damage was estimated at well over $5,000, the statement said, adding that an A-frame ladder located next to the exterior fence, and “Surveillance video was review and the offender was identified as Peter Ambrose.”

Officers cleared the scene, but were called back when temple workers located Ambrose in a locked room, the statement says.

“Peter came out willing and was placed into handcuffs. He started talking unprovoked and stated that he broke items in the temple. Peter was transported to the police station and interviewed. I informed Peter of Miranda and he stated he used the ladder to climb over the fence. He used the axe to break into the temple and smashed it into a mirror and left it in the wall. Peter said her tore the paintings off the wall, damaged the artificial plants, and tore down some curtains.”

Charges filed in the Dec. 24, 2019 case were criminal mischief, a second-degree felony; and burglary, a third-degree felony.

Ambrose pleaded guilty to those charges, and in June of 2020 was sentenced to probation and repayment of damages.


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