SLCo man facing 18 felony charges for allegedly possessing more than 8K files of child pornography

File photo: Gephardt Daily

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, Nov. 12, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Salt Lake County man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly possessing more than 8,000 files of child pornography.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County said Austin Kyle Stewart, 32, is facing charges of:

  • FiveĀ  counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a first-degree felony
  • Three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony
  • Ten counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony

On and around Oct. 20, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received approximately 150 cyber tipline reports from an electronic service provider, regarding one of its user accounts, the statement said. The ESP reported that the user had allegedly uploaded hundreds of files depicting child pornography.

As the NCMEC processed the reports, they determined that it was possible that a particular set of images were produced by the account owner. Based on the account information, NCMEC tentatively determined that the user was located in Utah, and forwarded the reports to the Utah Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The arresting officer in Utah confirmed that the account did contain images of child pornography. Five images in particular were suspected of being produced by the user. Other images found within the account were allegedly screenshots of child pornography taken by the user from their phone, the statement said.

Legal process was served on an Internet service provider seeking subscriber information for four of the IP addresses reported by the ESP. The results of that process returned to the address in Salt Lake County.

A search warrant was also served on the user account reported by the ESP, the statement said. Upon review of the results the account owner was provisionally identified as Stewart.

On Nov. 10, a search warrant was served on the residence reported by the ISP. Stewart was found to be inside the home and was read his Miranda rights. During the interview he allegedly admitted to taking inappropriate photographs on his phone. He said that he lost that phone on UTA TRAX shortly thereafter. He also allegedly admitted to touching a child inappropriately on three separate occasions.

More than 8,000 files, both images and videos of child pornography were allegedly found on two devices belonging to Stewart. The images allegedly depict children between the ages of infant and 12 years.

Stewart was transported to Salt Lake County Jail, where he is being held without bail.


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