Comedian 'not too happy' about facing 22 more felony sex counts

Nov 5 2010 - 10:22pm

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Scott Lee Russell
Scott Lee Russell

FARMINGTON -- A local comedian has been charged with 25 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor for taking photographs of underage girls.

Scott Lee Russell, 25, appeared in 2nd District Court in Farmington on Thursday.

He was originally charged May 18, 2009, with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second-degree felonies, for having pornographic photographs of underage girls on his computer.

But the Davis County Attorney's Office filed the amended charge, with 22 more counts Thursday, charging Russell for every pornographic photograph of two teenage girls found on his computer.

Deputy Davis County Attorney Richard Larsen said, "The state filed the additional charges in order for the evidence to be presented in a clearer fashion at trial."

Larsen said by filing 25 charges, prosecutors can submit every photograph into evidence during a trial.

A two-day trial had been set to take place in December for the three original counts, but it has been canceled.

A preliminary hearing on the 25 counts will be set soon, Larsen said.

Defense attorney Ryan J. Bushell said he was aware prosecutors were going to file the additional charges and also knew about an offer made to his client.

He said Russell is "not too happy about the additional charges."

Bushell said the two girls "lied about their age," telling Russell they were not minors.

Russell, who is known as Scotty Lee, was initially arrested by Layton police in September 2008 on suspicion of carrying on a sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

Those charges were referred to Salt Lake County after investigators learned the offenses occurred there, police said.

Layton police obtained a search warrant shortly after they arrested Russell in 2008 and confiscated Russell's laptop, which was sent to the state crime lab. Investigators found pornographic images of the teens on that computer.

Court records show Russell pleaded guilty March 9, 2009, to two felony charges that were reduced to class A misdemeanors of sexual battery.

He was ordered to complete 18 months' probation. Those charges were filed two months after his 2008 Layton arrest.

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