ST. GEORGE, Utah, Feb. 1, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A 28-year-old suspect is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor as part of an ongoing investigation in St. George.
The primary suspect in the investigation was identified as James Robert Richey, who had recently moved to the St. George area from Las Vegas, according to a news release from Washington County Sheriffs Office spokesman Lt. David Crouse.
In December of 2017, the WCSO received a tip from the Utah Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the news release said. The tip provided leads related to videos or images involving sex acts with an infant child.
Detectives began working the case and were able to identify a St. George home where the Internet transactions were taking place. A search warrant was executed Thursday at that home, where Richey resides.
“During the execution of the search warrant, detectives were able to conduct a preliminary scan of computers and hard drives from the residence,” the news release said. “In Richey’s room, detectives located external hard drives which contained hundreds of images and videos depicting suspected child pornography.”
Detectives were able to confirm the hard drive contained at least one video described in the ICAC tip, which depicted an approximately six month to 1-year-old child being brutally tortured, beaten and object raped.
Detectives are continuing to process the evidence collected to determine if the videos are of previously identified victims, or potentially unidentified victims.
During the execution of the warrant, Richey was already incarcerated on an unrelated case. Richey was booked on initial charges of 10 counts of exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. Additional charges may be filed at a later date.
He is currently being held on $200,000 cash only bail.