SOUTH OGDEN, Utah - A Utah man is facing multiple charges for sexual exploitation of a minor after his phone was found with about 2,000 photos and almost 100 videos of child pornography.
Twenty-five-year-old Jeremiah Rivera of South Ogden was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Monday. He faces 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
The probable cause statement indicates there were about 2,000 pictures and 98 videos of child pornography.
It was on Dec. 5 when Ian Snell found Rivera's phone on a desk.
“Even to this day I still can't believe it and I think why and how could someone even look at something like that,” Snell said.
Snell said he found Rivera’s cell phone near his desk at work.
“I didn't know who it was so I wanted to find out so I could get it back to the person it belonged to so I opened it up,” Snell said.
The phone immediately opened to photos.
“There was a bunch of pictures sitting right there as soon as you open it I was completely caught off guard,” Snell said.
On the screen was pictures of young girls.
“One or two pictures but that was plenty for me to call the police,” Snell said.
As a father of two, Snell's heart was pounding. Then on the home screen of the phone he saw a picture of his co-worker 25-year-old Jeremiah Rivera.
“He seemed normal. I would have never expected it,” Snell said.
Snell called police. Authorities took the phone and days later received a search warrant. The probable cause statement indicates the phone contained more than 2,000 images of child erotica and child pornography and 98 videos of child pornography.
“I think in this case it was good that there was an alert citizen a colleague who saw that and id what they're supposed to do,” said District Attorney Sim Gill.
Rivera is now facing 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
“We filed the charges and we continue to sift through the materials and to work with our law enforcement partners,” Gill said.
“It's a scary reminder we don't know the dangers that are out there and talk to kids and let them know and if anything like that were to happen to them they need to tell you and let you know,” Snell said.
Rivera faces 20 counts of sexual exploitation of minor, each count is one to 15 years in prison.