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Ex-police officer sentenced to prison on child pornography charges

By Mark Shenefelt - | Apr 21, 2022

Mark Shenefelt, Standard-Examiner

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

FARMINGTON — A former Salt Lake City police officer has been sentenced to prison on 13 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor after a defense attorney unsuccessfully challenged the sufficiency of evidence used in the jury trial last month.

Second District Judge Michael DiReda on Wednesday sentenced Jonathan Isaac Dew, 43, to one to 15 years in state prison. A jury on March 8 found Dew guilty on 13 counts of second-degree felony sexual exploitation of a minor. Jurors acquitted him on four other charges.

The prison sentence was stronger than many others in such cases, which often draw sentences of less than a year in a county jail, the Utah Attorney General’s Office said in a news release.

Assistant Attorney General Ryan Holtan argued at sentencing that a prison sentence was warranted because Dew was in a position of trust over some alleged victims, he was a police officer at the time and the images of prepubescent children being sexually assaulted were “horrific.”

According to online court records, charges were filed on Nov. 9, 2018, and the Attorney General’s Office asked the court to hold Dew on $500,000 bail. After a bail hearing, bail was reduced to $100,000 and Dew was able to post bond to be released pending trial.

Prosecutors alleged Dew, of Syracuse, used “extremely sophisticated methods to cover his tracks, including advanced encryption software.”

On April 14, defense attorney Randall Richards filed a motion asking the judge to arrest judgment in the case. He challenged the investigation, contending that evidence offered at trial failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Dew was the owner and possessor of a laptop that contained child pornography. But after arguments in court Wednesday, DiReda rejected Richards’ motion and went on with the sentencing.

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