The case of a former Tremonton police officer accused of creating a fake pornography email account and convincing a teen girl to send him nude photos has been transferred to a neighboring court because the defendant is acquainted with the local judge.
Jeremy Rose, 37, was charged Thursday in Box Elder County’s 1st District Court with 15 charges: nine counts of second-degree felony sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of third-degree felony voyeurism, one count of third-degree felony dealing in materials harmful to minor, one count each of third-degree felonies obstruction of justice and communications fraud, along with one count of misdemeanor stalking.
During Rose’s initial court appearance on Monday, 1st District Judge Ben Hadfield recused himself — saying he cannot hear the case — because he is acquainted with Rose through his police employment.
The case will be transferred to 2nd District Court in Ogden. No new court date has been set.
The Utah Attorney’s General Office began investigating Rose last May. According to a probable cause statement filed in court, Rose allegedly told a then-15-year-old girl that she could make some money by submitting photos to the pornography website, Brazzers.
Rose then allegedly told the teen to send nude and partially nude photos to an email address that he said belonged to a Brazzers employee named "Tom." But prosecutors allege that the email account was fake — created by Rose to solicit the photos from the teen.
The teen told investigators later that she sent about 150 nude photos of herself to "Tom," who told her that the pictures would not be posted online, but would be purchased in private by individuals. She did receive some money from the photos from Rose, prosecutors allege, under the guise that Rose was the go-between for the teen and "Tom."
Investigators later found 197 nude or partially nude images of the girl in an online file hosting site, Drop Box. The Drop Box account was registered under the email address Rose is accused of creating, according to prosecutors.
According to the probable cause statement, Rose confessed to his wife about the alleged crimes.
"Investigators were informed … by Rose’s wife that Rose had confessed to her and to his sister and other family members that he had manipulated [the teen] into sending photos to a fake company," an investigator wrote. "He said this was to ‘protect’ [the] minor."
Prosecutors also allege that Rose had thousands of images of the teen that had been surreptitiously taken of her while she was in her bedroom after a shower or bath.
Rose was arrested last June on suspicion of one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, but charges were not filed until Thursday.
Tremonton police officials said Rose has not been employed with them since last July.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.