Ex-SLC school board member sentenced for producing, transporting child pornography

Jun 15, 2022, 1:21 PM | Updated: 1:38 pm

FILE: Joel Lehi Organista, 29. (Salt Lake City School District)...

FILE: Joel Lehi Organista, 29. (Salt Lake City School District)

(Salt Lake City School District)

SALT LAKE CITY – A former member of the Salt Lake City School District Board of Education has been sentenced to 180 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to two felony counts related to the production and transportation of child pornography.

Joel Lehi Organista, 29, of Salt Lake City, was sentenced by a U.S. District Court Judge on Friday.

“The court ordered the federal prison sentence to run concurrently with a sentence ordered by the State of Utah arising from the same investigation,” stated a press release Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Organista was also ordered, according to the release, to serve 15 years of supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender.

“In the plea agreement, Organista admitted to owning a Dropbox account which was used for downloading between 10 and 150 child exploitation images depicting prepubescent minors. In addition, Organista admitted to using Snapchat to contact minor children and soliciting them to perform sexual acts for him via video chat, including an incident which occurred between Organista and a 13 year-old victim, where the victim performed sexual acts for Organista via video chat,” stated the release.

The case began in January 2021 when law enforcement received multiple tips that Organista’s devices and accounts were receiving and downloading images containing child pornography.

A search warrant was then executed at the 29-year-old’s residence in June 2021.

On June 2, Organista was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

The next day, Organista announced he was stepping down from his role on the school board.

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Ex-SLC school board member sentenced for producing, transporting child pornography