ST. GEORGE – A 24-year-old parolee was charged with 15 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor Wednesday after probation officers discovered pornographic images of underage girls on his cellphone.
On Thursday, parole officers performed a home compliance visit for Bradley James Thomas, of St. George, who is currently on probation with the 5th District Court, Adult Probation and Parole Officer Alan Dressler said in a probable cause statement supporting the charges.
In accordance with his probation agreement, parole officers reviewed Thomas’ phone during the visit, the statement said.
“While reviewing the contents of the phone,” Dressler said in the statement, “I observed several pictures of what appeared to be pornographic pictures of underage females.”
Thomas was arrested and placed on a 72-hour hold Thursday for being in violation of his probation agreement, the statement said. A search warrant for Thomas’ phone was obtained on Tuesday.
“Upon further inspection,” Dressler said, “the images were of pre-pubescent females, naked, and in pornographic poses.”
An interview with Thomas was conducted at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. During the interview, according to the statement, Thomas admitted to searching for pornographic images of underage girls and further admitted to downloading the images to his phone.
Judge Eric A. Ludlow, of the 5th District Court, issued a no-bail bench warrant for Thomas’ arrest on Wednesday for failing to comply with the terms of his probation.
Thomas was charged with 15 second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor for possessing the images. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance for these charges on March 3.
According to Utah court documents, Thomas had been serving a 36-month probation sentence following a third-degree felony theft conviction in March 2013.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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