LOGAN — A 31-year-old Hyrum man has pleaded guilty to sexting with an undercover police officer, posing as a 13-year-old girl. Evan Douglas Hopper accepted a plea deal that could send him to prison for up to 15 years.
Hopper appeared Monday morning in 1st District Court. He pleaded guilty to two counts of enticing a minor by internet or text, a second-degree felony; and dealing in materials harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony.
Hopper was arrested December 30, 2022 after he began communicating with a Logan City Police officer, on a website where users post captioned images and chat with others. The chats began in October.
After the officer claimed to be underage, Hopper sent a pornographic photo of himself. He also sent multiple messages describing in graphic details what he was interested in doing with the supposed girl.
During the chats, Hopper told the officer, “I am 18 years older than you.” At one point, he worried that he may be talking to a cop and another time he said “I could get in a lot of trouble,” police reported.
Hopper expressed interest in meeting to engage in the illegal sexual activity which had been discussed. However, the communications ended later and the suspect never contacted the officer again.
Police obtained a search warrant and tracked the user account to Hopper’s Hyrum residence.
Hopper was detained by officers and interviewed after being advised of his Miranda rights. He claimed that he sent the pornographic messages by mistake, claiming that he had been chatting with multiple people at the time. He later acknowledged that he knew talking sexually with minors was a line that shouldn’t be crossed. He claimed to having never actually meeting with a minor to engage in sexual activity.
During Monday’s court hearing, Michael McGinnis explained that in exchange for Hopper’s guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed two remaining charges and would allow for his release. They also will recommend the sentence for each charge be served at the same time.
Judge Brian Cannell said he would go along with the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing for March 27. He allowed Hopper to be released, under the condition that he have no access to the internet.