Handcuffs and fingerprints

LAYTON — Police arrested a 28-year-old Layton man Wednesday on allegations of raping and sexually abusing and exploiting a preteen girl he was babysitting.

The alleged offenses occurred two to four years ago while the girl was in the fourth through sixth grades, according to a Layton Police Department probable cause statement.

On various occasions, Mason Hardman allegedly bribed the girl with money to let him photograph her naked, bribed her before he allegedly stripped and raped her, and had her touch his genitals with her hand.

Hardman was booked into the Davis County Jail in Farmington on suspicion of two counts of rape of a child and one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, all first-degree felonies; and two counts each of second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child and sexual exploitation of a minor.

The girl told of the alleged incidents during an interview at the Children's Justice Center in February, according to the arrest affidavit. She alleged all the incidents happened while Hardman was babysitting her while her mother was at work.

Police said Hardman admitted during a police interview to hugging the girl after he got out of the shower, still unclothed. He also allegedly told the girl he would buy her candy if she did not tell her mother.

Formal charges had not been filed as of Thursday morning. Hardman was freed from jail with a promise to appear in court and cooperate with Davis County Pretrial Services.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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