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Man who posed as cop, took explicit photos of kids, gets 19 years in prison
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An Orem man who posed as a police officer to lure children into his home so he could take pornographic photos of them will serve 19 years in federal prison.

U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson imposed the sentence after David Morris Richards, 55, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography.

Richards admitted he produced sexually explicit visual depictions of numerous minors who were under the age of 18 by surreptitiously recording the victims urinating on a pad he had given them, according to a court document.

Richards dressed in uniform shirts and a badge, and outfitted his car with emergency lights. He told neighborhood children he was "Lieutenant D" and, according to investigators, used gifts of money, toys and candy to coerce victims into doing what he wanted.

He was arrested in August 2011 after a woman observed him speaking to a young girl and learned from neighbors he appeared to be targeting other children.

When Orem police searched his home they found several computers and cameras containing images of young girls in various stages of undress and inappropriate positions. Police identified at least 10 victims, who appeared to be unaware they were being photographed.

Richards faced a potential sentence of up to 30 years. The U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah agreed in a plea deal to recommend a 17-year sentence because of the victims' ages and a desire for them to not have to testify at a trial, according to a statement. Benson added two years to Richard's sentence.

brooke@sltrib.com

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