Utah Foster Parent Arrested after Camera Found Hidden in Bathroom

A Utah foster parent is facing multiple charges after one of the children in his care discovered a camera hidden in the bathroom.

Foster parents in Utah

According to Utah Foster Care, there have been “13,129 foster families trained since 1999” in the state of Utah although many of those are no longer actively caring for children. Many of these families are comprised of caring individuals and couples who want to help give children of struggling parents a safe and stable home until they can be adopted or preferably reunited with their families. Although those who are trained to be foster parents have been carefully scrutinized to ensure they meet the requirements needed to provide a safe environment, sometimes those who should not be caring for children manage to slip through the cracks.

Discovery of hidden camera

Photo by: Sean H.

One of these individuals was arrested in Pleasant Grove, Utah on Saturday after a child in his care found a hidden camera in the bathroom. When the 15 year old juvenile male went into the bathroom to shower, he discovered a small camera hidden inside a candle present in the bathroom. The teen quickly contacted his sister who as a young adult, was no longer living at that foster home. The sister immediately alerted police who arrested 57 year old John Kimble with multiple charges including voyeurism, sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of child pornography, and child abuse related to reproachable behavior with the younger sibling. Due to his special position of trust as a foster parent, Kimble is being held without bail.

Be the change

While this may have been one terrible case of a foster family unqualified to care for children, many of the foster families that are active in Utah are loving people with stable homes to support those children brought into their homes. For more information on becoming one of these safe families for Utah children, contact Utah Foster Care. For legal help related to any criminal charges brought against foster parents, contact a reputable attorney.

Kaysville Utah Man Facing Federal Charges for Possession of Child Pornography

Federal charges have been filed for a Kaysville, Utah man found to be in possession of a vast amount of child pornography.

Darknet downloads

Photo by: Japanexperterna.se

38 year old Daniel Walter Warner was arrested On October 25th after authorities tracked several child pornography files to a computer at Warner’s Kaysville, Utah home. Law enforcement served a warrant on Warner’s home and electronics and discovered 100 gigabytes of pornography depicting pornography involving children and infants. Warner, who is the father of four children and has volunteered in Utah’s foster care program, is facing federal charges of possession and distribution of child pornography.

Federal description of child pornography

The Unites States Department of Justice states: “Images of child pornography are not protected under the First Amendment rights, and are illegal contraband under federal law. Section 2256 of Title 18, Unites States Code, defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age). “That section goes on to explain that “[n]otably, the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct does not require that an image depict a child engaging in sexual activity. A picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive.”

Internet = Federal

While each state has their own laws and punishments regarding child pornography, sometimes a person possessing child pornography will face federal charges. According to The Department of Justice,“{besides images that cross or are sent across state or international borders]. . . federal jurisdiction almost always applies when the Internet is used to commit a child pornography violation. Even if the child pornography image itself did not travel across state or international borders, federal law may be implicated if the materials, such as the computer [laptop, tablet, or phone] used to download the image . . . [or]store the image, originated or previously traveled in interstate or foreign commerce.”

Federal charges

With the technological advances of smart phones and tablets having the browsing and downloading capabilities of computers, it is likely many child pornography cases of could end up in federal court. For more information on state or federal charges, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Police Detective Arrested For Sexual Crimes against a Minor

A police detective from Nevada was arrested for sexual crimes against a minor after he crossed state borders to engage in sexual acts with a 15 year old boy in St. George, Utah.

Dating app

50 year old Gary Erickson was booked into a Nevada jail awaiting extradition to Utah for charges of multiple sexual crimes against a minor in Utah that started with a dating app. In March 2018 Erickson and the 15 year old male juvenile met on a dating app called Grindr, a social app that is used primarily by same-sex attracted males. In order to obtain a Grindr account, the teen lied and stated that he was an adult. When Erickson and the teen started exchanging messages, the juvenile then told Erickson he was actually a minor. Despite this, Erickson continued to send and receive sexually explicit messages and arranged to meet face to face in August.

Meeting in person

Following Erickson’s visit to St. George to meet the15 year old boy, the parents of the juvenile found out that the teen and Erickson had been exchanging nude pictures. Their son then told them that he had met a man online who called himself Eric Smith and that the two had arranged to meet at an aquatic center in St. George to engage in sexual acts. The teen then stated that in the locker room of the aquatic center, Erickson and the minor engaged in inappropriate touching. Erickson then inquired whether or not the youth wanted to have sexual intercourse but the youth declined, telling Erickson he needed to go. Following this alarming information, the boy’s parents alerted police who were able to identify “Eric Smith” as Erickson.

Felony and misdemeanor charges

Erickson is facing multiple felony charges for dealing harmful materials to a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, as well as a misdemeanor charge for sexual abuse of a minor. These charges are described below:

Dealing harmful material to a minor is a third degree felony and is described in Utah Code 76-10-1206 as when a person “. . . knowing or believing that a person is a minor, or having negligently failed to determine the proper age of a minor, the person intentionally:
(a) Distributes or offers to distribute, or exhibits or offers to exhibit, to a minor or a person the actor believes to be a minor, any material harmful to minors;
(b) Produces, performs, or directs any performance, before a minor. . . that is harmful to minors; or
(c) Participates in any performance, before a minor . . . that is harmful to minors. “

Sexual exploitation of a minor is a second degree felony and is described by 76-5b-201 as “when the person:
i. Knowingly produces, possesses, or possesses with intent to distribute child pornography; or
ii. Intentionally distributes or views child pornography;”

• While the charges related to sending and receiving nude pictures are punishable as felonies, the charge against Erickson for sexual abuse of a child was a class A misdemeanor. Section 76-5-401.1 of the Utah Criminal Code states “An individual commits sexual abuse of a minor if the individual is four years or more older than the minor and, under circumstances not amounting to [rape, object rape, forcible sodomy, aggravated sexual assault, unlawful sexual activity with a minor], the individual touches the anus, buttocks, public area, or any part of the genitals of the minor, or touches the breast of a female minor, or otherwise takes indecent liberties with the minor, with the intent to cause substantial emotional or bodily pain to any individual or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any individual regardless of the sex of any participant.”

Child, minor, or 16-17 year old

Many wonder why the charges against Erickson for sending and receiving nude pictures carried more severe penalties than the charge for the actual touching of the boy’s private parts. This lesser charge could be based on the teen’s age at the time of the incident.

• If the juvenile was 16 years old but younger than 18, the charges against the other individual for sexual touching [not including oral sex or any sexual penetration] would be a class A misdemeanor.

• If the juvenile was considered a minor, which by Utah state law is defined as “an individual who is 14 years of age or older, but younger than 16 years of age, at the time the sexual activity described . . .occurred”, then the charges would be likewise be a class A misdemeanor.

• If the juvenile was under 14 years of age, he would be considered a child and the charges for sexual abuse of a child would then be punishable as a second degree felony.

For more information on sexual charges related to juveniles and how age plays a factor in the severity of those charges, contact a qualified criminal defense attorney.