CRIME

37-year-old man accused of sexually exploiting 17-year-old girl in Cedar City

Jun 17, 2024, 2:51 PM | Updated: 10:45 pm

CEDAR CITY — A Las Vegas man has been arrested and accused of sexually exploiting a 17-year-old girl at a hotel in Cedar City.

The man was identified by court documents as Vernon Ross, 37,  from Las Vegas.

Police responded to a report of a runaway teen and found the juvenile had made several calls to Ross before running away.

Ross contacted police several days after the girl was found and admitted to meeting up and having sex with the juvenile in May, but said he believed she was 18.

Several photos and videos of child sexual abuse material were also found on Ross’s phone. He told police another video of child sexual abuse was on his wife’s phone. Ross also stated that he offered alcohol to the teen, and she drank some of it, and that he supplied her with a nicotine vape at her request.

Ross has been booked into the Iron County Jail on suspicion of five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

The probable cause affidavit stated, “Vernon is booked on multiple felony sex offenses and has admitted to all elements of the crimes. He lives in Las Vegas, but committed offenses in Cedar City. If he is released, it is very likely that he will flee the jurisdiction to Nevada.”

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37-year-old man accused of sexually exploiting 17-year-old girl in Cedar City