Former attorney for AG’s Child Protection Division faces more charges
Sep 19, 2022, 2:24 PM | Updated: Nov 18, 2022, 10:43 pm
(Gustavo Caballero, Getty Images for UNITAS)
SPANISH FORK, Utah — More charges have been filed against an attorney who used to work for the Child Protection Division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office.
Gary Lee Bell, 66, of Spanish Fork, was charged Monday in 4th District Court with sodomy on a child, two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of child, and aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, all first-degree felonies. Bell is also facing five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, in another case.
He was arrested on Aug. 24 following a three-week investigation that started when police received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children of suspected child pornography being uploaded on a social media app. Police say the uploaded explicit images were of children under the age of 10.
On Sept. 6, a judge allowed Bell to be released from custody pending his preliminary hearing.
But when police started searching the electronic devices seized from Bell after his initial arrest, they found several photos of Bell engaged in child sex abuse, according to charging documents.
A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was rebooked into the Utah County Jail on Sept. 13. A judge has ordered that Bell be held this time without the possibility of posting bail pending trial.
Bell worked as a prosecutor in the Child Protection Division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office but did not prosecute cases, according to a spokesman. He resigned in 2020 but the attorney general’s office has not stated a reason for the resignation.