SALT LAKE CITY — A 23-year-old South Jordan man was sentenced Friday to serve 18 years in federal prison for the production and dissemination of child exploitation materials.
In a plea agreement, Thomas Wallin admitted to sexually abusing a three-year-old boy in 2019, and to producing and distributing a sexually explicit depiction of the abuse using the internet.
As part of his sentence, Wallin will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison and will be under a lifetime of supervised release.
This investigation began in August of 2020 when officers with Homeland Security Investigations received a request for assistance from Australian law enforcement officials.
They had arrested a man in Australia on suspicion of distributing child exploitation materials and during their investigation they discovered he was exchanging the illegal material with a Utah man, believed to be Thomas Wallin of South Jordan.
A search of the Australian man’s Telegram account found evidence that he and Wallin had been sharing sexually explicit videos of minors under the age of seven years old.
One of the videos depicted Wallin sexually abusing a three-year old boy, and there was a separate explicit video of the same minor.
Authorities were able to confirm it was Wallin who was abusing the minor in part through a distinctive bracelet worn by Wallin in the video which was later found in his home during a search warrant. Authorities also identified the presence of a mole on Wallin’s hand, which also appeared in the same video.
During an interview with an investigator from HSI, Wallin admitted to recording himself sexually abusing a minor male and that he had used Telegram to receive child exploitation materials from individuals using the internet.
Digital media seized from Wallin at the time of arrest contained over 20 sexually explicit images of minor children under the age of twelve being sexually exploited.
“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting minor victims from violent criminals who prey on their innocence,” said U.S. Attorney Andrea T. Martinez. “The troubling facts of this case should be a reminder for parents and guardians of young children to be extremely careful of who your children are left alone with.”
“Our hope is that this sentence sends a message that our HSI agents will aggressively pursue anyone who attempts to prey on our nation’s most vulnerable population, our children,” said Lucia Cabral-DeArmas, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations- Las Vegas. “Let today be the starting point for the healing process for the victims and their families.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. Special Agents from HSI conducted the investigation.