ST. GEORGE, Utah – A man faces five counts relating to sexual exploitation of a minor after police allegedly discovered images and videos of child pornography on his laptop, and the arrest comes several months after evidence was seized as the suspect had left the area to return to the Marine Corps. and then visit family out of the country.
According to a statement of probable cause from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, authorities executed a search warrant on a residence in the area of 1100 North and 1600 West in April and recovered a laptop belonging to 24-year-old Richard Anthony Vidal.
The PC statement alleges the laptop contained “hundreds of files, images, and some videos of prepubescent children being raped” and being subjected to or engaging in various other sexually explicit activities. Police stated there was also evidence of attempts to share child pornography.
Vidal was identified as the owner of the laptop, but initially police were unable to locate the man for questioning, “due to him being sent back to the Marine [Corps.] and going to Columbia to visit his father.”
Vidal turned himself into authorities just before 1 p.m. on July 27, and he invoked his right to not answer any questions that might incriminate himself. The man was booked into jail on five counts of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor but has since made bail.