LOGAN — A 38-year-old Murray man has been sentenced to prison for driving to Logan to meet up with an undercover police officer, posing as a 13-year-old girl. Nathan Benjamin Allen cried and wiped away tears as he was ordered to serve a term of seven-years-to-life.
Allen was sentenced Monday morning in 1st District Court. He previously had accepted a plea agreement, pleading guilty to attempted sodomy on a child and attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child, both first-degree felonies; two counts of enticing a minor by internet or text and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, both second-degree felonies; along with dealing in materials harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony.
According to prosecutors, Allen began messaging a Logan City Police officer on an internet chat website in June 2022. He began a sexually flirtatious conversation, saying he wanted to meet in person. He also sent a video of him exposing and inappropriately touching himself.
On Aug. 18, 2022, Allen stated that he wanted to meet up and was driving to Cache Valley. A location was arranged, where officers were waiting when he pulled up and got out of his car. He told police, he only intended to talk to the girl.
During Monday’s sentencing, defense attorney Kevin Sullivan said Allen had lost everything since being arrested. He described how his client got involved in something that was more powerful than he could resist and made some big mistakes.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Ronnie Keller said Allen’s case was more concerning than others who have been arrested for trying to meetup with an undercover officer. He explained how police later learned that the defendant had been communicating with a 13-year-old girl in Colorado. The two had been sexting each other for some time.
Allen told the court, “This was the biggest mistake of his life.” While sobbing, he called his actions selfish, and said he realized the harm it has caused. He also apologized and asked for forgiveness.
Judge Spencer Walsh said Allen’s behavior was dangerous, especially considering the number of children that are online now. Instead of sentencing the defendant to the maximum 15-years-to-life, he reduced the sentence, noting how Allen had also been a victim of sexual abuse as a child.