OGDEN — An Ogden photographer abusively preyed upon numerous female customers, trying to obtain sex by withholding their portfolios, the Weber County Sheriff’s Office says in charging documents.
Russell Scott Healey, 58, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of two counts of first-degree felony object rape, a second-degree felony count of forcible sexual abuse and one count of class B misdemeanor theft.
The arrest was based on alleged incidents involving two customers, but investigators said in a probable cause statement that potentially many women have been victimized similarly over the years.
Healey owns Rusty Healey Photography on 12th Street in Ogden.
The arrest affidavit said Healey offered free photo shoots to women but they would have to pay for any photos they wanted.
He would then withhold photos, ask them to pose for more, provocative photos, and seek sexual favors, the affidavit said.
Healey remained held without bail at the Weber County Jail on Wednesday pending the filing of formal charges.
The investigation began Aug. 7 when a woman reported she had been assaulted by Healey.
The woman told deputies she won a free photo shoot with Healey in March and she paid $100. But despite repeated requests, he never delivered the photos to her.
She eventually asked him to mail her the photos and he said he wanted to meet her because it would cost $24.95 to mail them.
On the day of the alleged assault, Healey sent a text message to the woman saying he was going on a motorcycle ride and wondered if she would go with him for “wind therapy” on the way to get her photos.
She agreed, but told her brother by text that she was uncomfortable going.
Instead of going to his studio, Healey drove to the Little Mountain Air Force Test Facility in western Weber County, the affidavit said.
She said Healey began making advances on her, telling her how beautiful she was. She said he allegedly grabbed her and kissed her neck, fondled her breasts and inserted his fingers in her genital area.
All the while, she said she resisted and told him to stop, but it was a remote location and she was fearful, the affidavit said.
He drove her home but did not give her the photos, adding that he would give her the photos “for a bed and breakfast” with her, the affidavit alleged.
She told her brother the meeting had been a trap. She reported the incident to police and underwent a sexual assault examination.
Days later, the woman called Healey with a sheriff’s detective present on her end of the line.
During the conversation, Healey allegedly admitted the incident, saying, “I’m hoping I didn’t cross your boundaries.”
Deputies said they interviewed Healey and he denied abusing the woman, then stopped answering questions and asked for an attorney.
They seized Healey’s phone and found he had deleted his text conversations with the woman, the affidavit said.
During a search of Healey’s studio and home, deputies spoke to Healey’s wife.
The wife “told me how glad she was that Rusty was caught because Rusty is a sex addict and sleeps around with multiple other women,” a deputy wrote.
She told deputies that “multiple women have complained to her about Rusty’s behavior during photo shoots.”
Another alleged victim told deputies Healey had offered to do a free photo shoot to help build her portfolio.
During one shoot, the woman reported to deputies, she “noticed that Rusty was taking close-up pictures of her vaginal area while she was in the positions he placed her into.”
He kept pushing her to make “sexier” poses and even pose nude, but she refused, she said.
She said at one shoot, she was sitting on a couch while wearing a dress when Healey allegedly rubbed her upper leg and kissed her vagina through her underwear.
The affidavit said deputies interviewed other women who alleged Healey “would offer additional photo shoots or deals in exchange for sexual acts” and “withhold the photos from the female to try to get more sex.”
“Many of these women have mental or physical deficiencies that Rusty used to his advantage as he manipulated them,” according to the affidavit.
According to court records, Healey was convicted in 1994 of third-degree felony sexual exploitation of a minor and unlawful sexual intercourse.
Healey did not have an attorney of record as of Wednesday morning.