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Well-known Ogden photographer suspected of sexually abusing clients

Posted at 7:49 AM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 09:49:37-05

OGDEN, Utah — A well-known Ogden photographer has been arrested on suspicion of several sexual crimes.

According to a probable cause statement, 58-year-old Russell “Rusty” Healey was booked into the Weber County jail Tuesday on suspicion of two counts of first degree felony object rape, one count of second degree felony forcible sexual abuse, and one count of misdemeanor theft.

The investigation began when a female victim reported that she had “won” a free photo shoot at Rusty Healey Photography, but that Healey had sexually assaulted her when he was supposed to be providing her with photographs he had taken of her.

In the lengthy probable cause statement, the woman described how she had tried to get her photos for months and had even done make-up in other photo shoots to help pay for her photos.

On Aug. 27, 2020, Healey told the victim he could pick her up on his motorcycle and take her to get the photos. But instead of going to his studio, he drove to a remote area in the west desert and stopped at the gates of the Little Mountain Air Force Test Facility. The victim said she realized she was in the “middle of nowhere,” and that Healey grabbed her and started kissing and fondling her. The victim said she “froze” and that Healey had forcefully groped her all over her body. When she resisted, Healey said “Shhh! Just be a good girl,” the documents state. Healey then returned the woman to her home.

During the investigation, a phone call between Healey and the victim was recorded, in which the two discussed what happened on the motorcycle ride and Healey said he thought the woman “was really into it.”

When officers interviewed Healey, they say he “fumbled around with his words and shrugged his shoulders” before saying he wanted to talk with his attorney.

During the course of the investigation, investigators talked with Healey’s wife who told them she was “glad Rusty was caught” and that he “is a sex addict and sleeps around with multiple other women” and that several women had complained to her about Healey’s behavior during photo shoots.

The wife told police about one possible victim, a 20-year-old woman she said Healey “had predatorized.” Police interviewed her, and she said Healey had tried to get her to take nude photos. She refused but told officers that while she was in Rusty’s studio he sexually assaulted her, removed her clothes and took some nude photos and tried to tell her that she could not tell anyone.

Other previous clients were interviewed and shared similar stories.

Investigators also determined that Healey has a history of sexual assault in the area going back approximately 30 years. In 1994, Healey was convicted of third-degree felony exploitation of a minor and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He was a registered sex offender until 2007.

Healey is being held without bail in the Weber County jail.

Investigators believe there may be many more women or men who have been victimized by Healey over his 30 plus years operating as a photographer, as he used his status to manipulate and prey on his victims.

If you have something to report involving Russell Healey, you’re asked to contact your local law enforcement agency, and reference Weber County Sheriff’s Office case 20WC22217.