LOCAL NEWS

Utah man faces 9 counts of sexual exploitation involving child porn

Mar 23, 2023, 4:47 PM | Updated: 5:07 pm

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FILE — Rich County Sheriff's Office has identified the deceased person found earlier this week. (KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

SPRINGVILLE, Utah — A Utah man is in jail, charged with nine counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, each a second-degree felony, for owning or producing child sex abuse images.

David Ludwig Aune, 58, who moved from South Jordan to Springville late last year, is jailed on a no-bail warrant on an investigation that started from tip regarding uploads of child pornography.

Utah code identifies sexual exploitation of a minor as, “…knowingly produced, possessed, or possessed with intent to distribute, child pornography or intentionally distributed or viewed child pornography.”

Using an email and information from a internet service provider, investigators traced the origin of the tip to Aune in South Jordan and then obtained a search warrant. Agents simultaneously served the warrant at his business and home in Springville on Jan. 12.

Files were found on his electronic devices, including one that was of a pre-teen girl in a family he knew, photoshopped to produce child sex abuse images. The images were altered to make it appear the girl was engaged in sexual activity, according to court documents. The victim’s mother identified her from a sanitized version of the photos police said.

According to probable cause documents, in interviews with investigators after he was informed of his Miranda rights, Aune admitted to:

  • Using image-editing software
  • Identified unedited images of a prepubescent girl
  • Admitted knowing the girl’s name and age
  • Admitted knowing the victim’s mother
  • Admitted using a photo editor to alter the images of the girl using other images of genitals for his own gratification

After serving the warrants, along with images of the girl Aune is said to have told police he altered, investigators also found three collections of child sex abuse photos of girls who appeared to be young teens. Police confiscated a computer, an external hard drive and iPad. Some of the collections were named in a way to indicate they were of underage girls.

Probable cause documents call for a no-bail warrant, granted by a judge in Third District Court in Salt Lake County.

The tip originated from CyberTipline Report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about uploaded child sex abuse material. The tip was received by the Internet Crimes Against Children task force of the Utah Attorney General’s Office on Oct. 31, 2022.

The first count is for files possessed on July 4, 2021, five counts are for abuse materials on May 13, 2021 and three of the counts are from collections of files on Jan. 25 of 2023, after the warrant was served.

Aune was booked in the Salt Lake County Jail with his next court appearance scheduled for April 18.

 

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Utah man faces 9 counts of sexual exploitation involving child porn