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Woods Cross gym operator charged for allegedly recording children, adults in bathroom

By Tim Vandenack - | Mar 24, 2023

MARK SHENEFELT, Standard-Examiner

The 2nd District courthouse in Farmington is pictured Nov. 1, 2021.

WOODS CROSS — The operator of a gym that catered to children, teens and adults has been jailed without bail, facing 20 felony and misdemeanor counts for allegedly clandestinely filming children and adults in a bathroom at the facility.

Adam Jacobs, 33, the owner of USA Gymnastics World in Woods Cross, allegedly placed a hidden camera inside a unisex bathroom that also served as a changing area at the gym. He allegedly filmed 43 children in “various stages of undress” and more adults with the device, according to charging papers.

More specifically, he faces 10 counts of felony exploitation of a minor for allegedly clandestinely filming 10 minors and 10 counts of voyeurism, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly filming 10 adults. Authorities count 124 individual videos in all on the camera, which was hidden inside a USB charger adapter plugged into an outlet in the gym bathroom.

“This list is by no means exhaustive as there appear to be approximately 81 videos of adults or possibly children who are not clearly prepubescent captured in various stages of undress,” read charging papers filed Thursday in 2nd District Court in Farmington. The Woods Cross Police Department said in a statement Thursday that more than 70 people in all had been secretly taped in the bathroom.

Jacobs, owner of USA Gymnastics World since 2018 and also a coach there, acted alone, authorities think. Online court records as of Friday listed no attorney for the man.

“At this time, we know the illicit activity was limited to electronic monitoring and we have no evidence to suggest any children were physically abused,” says the police statement.

Charging papers, however, hint at the possibility of additional misdeeds. On Wednesday, Woods Cross police, Utah Attorney General’s Office reps, U.S. Secret Service officials and others from several additional agencies carried out a search warrant on the gym and Jacobs’ home, reportedly finding more evidence.

“It is highly likely that additional storage devices containing additional explicit images or videos of victims will be seized during the completion of these searches. Of particular concern is that the removable memory card currently in police possession only covers a two-week period of time,” reads the indictment. “Jacobs has been a coach at several other gyms in Utah within the past decade. Jacobs is known to have solo coaching sessions with children and their physical and sexual well-being and safety are of grave concern.”

Jacobs was booked into the Davis County Jail on Wednesday and he is being held without bail, as requested by prosecutors.

“Due to the nature of these offenses, the number of victims, the high mobility and potential tampering of evidence which may be accomplished by the defendant (even remotely through cloud-based electronic storage), the state requests this court issue a no-bail hold for the defendant,” reads the indictment.

Authorities received the initial report of a suspected hidden camera on March 3, according to the Wood Cross police statement. An employee at the facility had “stumbled across” the recording device and reported it, according to the indictment. Footage in the video showed Jacobs allegedly setting up and adjusting the device.

Authorities have identified the victims in the footage they found and reached out to them.

“Our investigators have notified all the known victims at this point. If you did not receive a phone call from a detective, we do not have any evidence that you or your child are victims at this time,” reads a Facebook post from late Thursday by Woods Cross police.

That said, the probe continues.

“This case is evolving and dynamic and we will continue to work hard to keep everyone updated,” the Facebook post continues. “Over the next few months, we will continue to process the evidence we recovered during the search warrants. We understand the frustration that this process is not quick, but please be patient and we will promptly notify any additional victims as they are identified.”


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