LOGAN — A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for a 20-year-old Sandy man suspected of sexting a teenage girl in Cache County. Austin E. Bashford was arrested in May and is being held in the Cache County Jail on $15,500 bail.
Bashford participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Tuesday morning, appearing by web conference from jail. He was previously charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony; and, 10 counts of enticing a minor over the internet, a third-degree felony.
Judge Jeremiah Humes, who was temporarily filling in for the retired Judge Thomas Willmore, scheduled the hearing for August 11. During that hearing, he’ll determine whether to bind Bashford over for trial.
According to a warrant affidavit, Cache County sheriff’s deputies received a complaint from the alleged victim’s parents after they reportedly caught their 16-year-old daughter sexting with Bashford. The two had been communicating via FaceTime since March.
The girl said Bashford would ask her to strip for him during their video calls. He would also expose himself to her.
Bashford spoke to investigators over the phone and reportedly admitted to the allegations. He claimed that he met the girl on a website, designed to allow users to chat with strangers.
Bashford also admitted to exposing himself to the alleged victim during the FaceTime chats and viewing inappropriate pictures and videos of her.
Police in Salt Lake arrested Bashford in September for allegedly having an illegal relationship with a 15-year-old girl in Salt Lake County. He has yet to enter a plea to one charge of misdemeanor sexual abuse of a minor.