LOCAL NEWS

Utah man awaiting sentencing for child sex crime charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor

Dec 21, 2021, 9:03 PM | Updated: 9:18 pm
FILE (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for UNITAS)...
FILE (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for UNITAS)
(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for UNITAS)

HEBER CITY, Utah — A Utah man scheduled to be sentenced in January for felony sex crimes against children has been charged with 10 new counts of sexual exploitation of a minor for video and images of adults raping and sodomizing children.

Tyrel Preston Smith, 20, previously pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor in a deal that saw three other felony charges dropped. He was confined to his home while awaiting his sentencing, as ordered in November.

A probable cause affidavit from Utah’s Fourth District Court in Heber, Utah, states that in August Utah’s Attorney General’s Office was given a referral from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or NCMEC, of a video, 1 minute and 23 seconds long, that shows a prepubescent child being sexually abused by an adult male. Investigations served a warrant from Skype and were given “responsive data.”

Along with other pornographic material sent via Skype, investigators discovered an adult man recording himself masturbating. Investigators said Smith’s Utah driver license matched the identity of the person in the video. They also learned of Smith’s recent conviction, discovering he was not in state custody while he awaited sentencing while confined to his home and while wearing an ankle monitor.

Agents served a residential search warrant and seized a laptop and other electronics from Smith’s home in Wasatch County. Investigators said they “found several hundred images and video which depict the sexual exploitation of children.” The images were similar to content found in the previously described video, according to the Office of the Attorney General.

“Our officers are pleased and relieved that this offender is off the street but frustrated that he was allowed to re-offend and harm yet another child,” said Internet Crimes Against Children task force commander Alan White.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Smith was sexually communicating with a person he believed was 17 years old and told that person that when his ankle monitor was removed he would travel to see her in Kentucky. He also reportedly confessed to sharing the video contained in the initial crime tip. The court documents said the content found on his laptop depicted the rape of prepubescent children between 2 and 8 years old though he told investigators he prefers older children up to 17 years old.

He reportedly confessed to possessing and viewing such images and videos and said he views them at least once a week.

“The current offense is a felony committed while on probation or parole, or while free on bail awaiting trial on a previous felony charge. There is substantial evidence to support the felony charge…(Smith) would constitute a substantial danger to any another individual or to the community, or is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court if released on bail,” documents state.

He has been arrested and booked into custody by the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office. His sentencing was scheduled for Jan. 5, 2022 with Judge Jennifer A. Brown who was assigned to Smith’s previous criminal case.

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Utah man awaiting sentencing for child sex crime charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor