LOGAN — A 19-year-old Logan man has pleaded guilty to sharing pornographic pictures and videos of children over the internet. Jaxon C. Harrop accepted a plea deal that could still send him to prison.
Harrop participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday afternoon, appearing by web conference with his public defender. He pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.
As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped 10 remaining charges against the defendant and agreed not to ask for a prison term at sentencing.
In November 2020, Logan City police officers received a CyberTip that Harrop was exchanging child pornography through a social media app. The tip, forwarded from the Utah Attorney General’s Office, included multiple pictures and videos of kids ranging from newborns to 13-years-old. The material depicted the female babies and children in various stages of undress, being raped by adult men.
The social media account was accessed at several Cache County locations. The IP addresses were tracked to Harrop’s home in Logan, along with a home in Smithfield, where a friend of Harrop lives.
In January 2021, officers served a warrant to Harrop after conducting surveillance on his Logan residence for several days. They seized a cell phone, game consoles and memory storage devices.
During Monday’s hearing, Cache County Deputy Attorney Griffin Hazard explained how after officers conducted a forensic download of Harrop’s cell phone, they located a total of 20 images and videos of child pornography.
Harrop spoke briefly, telling the court he was willing to waive his right to a fair trial and plead guilty to the charges.
Judge Bryan Galloway, who was substituting for the presiding judge, Angela Fonnesbeck, explained that despite the plea deal recommendation, the court reserves the right to decide whether to sentence Harrop to prison or jail. He scheduled sentencing for July 26 and didn’t speculate what the term would be.
Harrop is currently out of jail on pretrial supervision. He could face up to 15-years in prison.