Police: Hundreds of videos depicting sex acts with infants found on St. George man’s computer

Stock image | St. George News

Ed. note: The content of this article pertains to violence involving children. Some may consider the details contained in this report to be graphic in nature. Reader discretion is advised.

ST. GEORGE — A St. George man was arrested Wednesday after authorities discovered hundreds of images and videos of child pornography on his hard drive, including a video of a 6-month to one-year-old child being brutally tortured, beaten and object raped.

While the Utah Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was conducting an online child pornography investigation on the BitTorrent Network in December 2017, an agent located a child pornography file shared by a Southern Utah IP address, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in support of the arrest.

James Robert Richey, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted Jan. 31, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

When it was confirmed the IP address was in the St. George area, the case was forwarded to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Jan. 10 for further investigation, the report states.

Detectives began working the case and were able to identify a St. George home where the internet transactions were taking place, Washington County Sheriff’s Office Lt. David Crouse said in a statement Thursday.

The primary suspect in the investigation was identified as 28-year-old James Robert Richey, who had recently moved to St. George from Las Vegas, officials said.

Detectives executed a search warrant at Richey’s home Wednesday as part of the ongoing child pornography investigation, Crouse said. During their search, detectives conducted a preliminary scan of computers and hard drives from the residence.

In Richey’s room, detectives located external hard drives containing hundreds of images and videos depicting child pornography, Crouse said, adding:

Detectives were able to confirm the hard drive contained at least one video described in the ICAC tip, which depicted an approximately 6-month to one-year old child being brutally tortured, beaten and object raped.

Authorities located numerous videos and picture files containing names associated with raping, beating and wanting to murder children specifically between the ages of 3 and 10 years old, charging documents state.

Detectives are continuing to process the evidence collected to determine if the videos are of previously identified victims or potentially unidentified victims, Crouse said.

During the execution of the search warrant, Richey was already incarcerated at the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility after being arrested Monday on a class B misdemeanor criminal mischief charge in an unrelated case in which he allegedly caused at least $500 in damage to a cohabitant’s property.

When detectives questioned Richey about the child pornography files, Richey “became visibly upset and began shaking,” charging documents state. When asked about the videos, Richey “kept putting his head down, becoming more upset and changing the subject” before requesting an attorney.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court Thursday accusing Richey of 10 second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Officials said Thursday that additional charges may be forthcoming.

Richey is being held on $200,000 cash-only bail pending trial.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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26 Comments

  • NickDanger February 1, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Glad to see the Washington County Sheriff’s Office did their job correctly and didn’t get this scumbag to the jail unscathed.

  • comments February 1, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    This sort of content is a terrible thing to exist in the world. It’s like a visual record of how depraved and evil humanity can actually be.

    But really, how is having the material on a hard drive and even watching it comparable to those that committed the evil acts of abuse and recorded it in the first place?

    Is the act of possessing and watching the content actually ‘sexual exploitation of a minor’? What if the minor in said content is now 20, 30 or 40 years old or even older? How is it then ‘sexual exploitation of a minor’?

    I fully believe all this sort of content should be kept illegal as hell, because it is pure evil, but the way in which it’s charged and prosecuted seems akin to prosecuting a thought crime. From what I’ve heard it’s even legal to possess videos of murder, torture, and rape of legal aged adults, and possibly even the torture of children so long as is doesn’t meet the legal criteria of child porn. It’s interesting to think about because no other type of media or content, no matter how evil, depraved, or gruesome is treated in the legal system quite the way that child porn is.

    I wish it could be eradicated from the earth, but that would be as impossible as eradicating the evil nature from humankind. It’s a sad thing.

  • comments February 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    That’s all assuming this man didn’t abuse children and produce the content, ofc……

  • Real Life February 1, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    There is no fixing people like this. He should be done away with.

    • comments February 1, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      Death for viewing and retaining digital images and videos of child sexual abuse? Do those that perpetrated the actual abuse and created the content deserve the same type of death or a worse death? If the FBI or police officers whose official task it is to sift thru this sort of material were to begin to be aroused by it do they deserve death as well?

      the debate itself is fascinating, because a guy like this could go his entire life w/o touching a child, and yet in the public eye he’s as guilty as the very worst child molesters just for viewing imagery. He’s guilty of a thought crime. If he fantasized about child abuse in his mind (yes, perhaps w/ the aid of disgusting digital imagery) he’s as guilty as an actual real world child molester that has ruined real children’s lives. Again, assuming he’s not an actual molester.

      I don’t quite understand the logic of it.

      • Real Life February 2, 2018 at 4:21 pm

        I get what your saying but I stick to my original post.

        • comments February 2, 2018 at 5:17 pm

          meh. could be that ur right. i dont know the guy

  • yikes February 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    If there wasn’t a market for it there would not be a supplier. Whoever made the comment earlier that asked if one crime was worse than the other, the answer is YES & I wonder if they need to be looked into as well.

    • comments February 1, 2018 at 10:29 pm

      If it was a market it would require an exchange of some sort, yes? Didn’t this say this guy was downloading torrents. I’ve not messed with torrents in many years but they were always 100% free.

      Assuming this guy downloaded all this stuff for free, it in no way meets the criteria of a “market”.

  • comments February 1, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    I only read a very long discussion in an internet board that touched on this. They were comparing it to how the end users of drugs often get locked in prison much much longer than those that manufacture and distribute drugs. And with the end users of drugs and those that view stuff like this on the internet not actually victimizing anyone…

    hypothetically….

    • comments February 1, 2018 at 7:12 pm

      thats all i have to say on it. i dont know this guy in this article, and have no real interest in what happens to him. if he’s a legitimate pedofile he deserves to be locked up.

  • Mike February 1, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    What a waste of tax dollars to house this piece of s***!

  • Who February 1, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    That’s pretty deep for you comments,

    I will admit it was intriguing and actually made some sense in a ,,,,what shall we say, different? sense.

    • comments February 1, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      Barring some extremely unlikely and elaborate scenario, if someone can explain to me in a way that makes sense, how viewing this material (as vile as it is) is even remotely close to actually physically sexually abusing a child, or how it even matches the definition of “sexual exploitation of a minor” I would be extremely impressed.

      If it’s paid for in some way then ofc it would be, but how much of this filth is paid for?

      I’m not gonna go far w/ this talk bc something like

      “including a video of a 6-month to one-year-old child being brutally tortured, beaten and object raped.”

      well, that is evil. Should a person be locked up for having a copy of that? It’s beyond me to even know what to do abt something like that. A lot of you mormons live very sheltered lives, very unaware of the evils of this world….

  • PlanetU February 1, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    He should be neutered.

  • knobe February 1, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    After getting past the over whelming urge to upchuck ,
    I have to acknowledge anyone with this deep level of cruelty for entertainment is too far gone to be salvageable .
    He should be kept alive long enough to identify every supplier of the vids then euthanized like the rabid beast he is .

  • comments February 2, 2018 at 12:32 am

    These sort of comments I’ve written about here I’m in no way defending the evil and societal cancer that is recorded imagery of child sex abuse. I have no idea what get’s into people’s minds to get the desire to view and start collecting these “materials”. I have no real opinion as to what should be done to solve the problem either. Is severe punishment to the “end users” of such material enough to stop the spread of this cancer? Someone even said once that if child porn was legal then the wider circulation of it would possibly lead to someone who actually knows the victim in the material seeing it and reporting it to police, and even leading to the rescue of a child in an active abuse situation. I think that that is highly unlikely– grasping at straws, and I’d hope this type of evil material is never allowed to freely spread. What motivates people like this man to seek out and collect these evil things, I have no idea. Is it possible he’s a good person underneath these perverse and evil addictions or desires? I have no idea. Sometimes I don’t understand how these sorts of dark things can even exist. Humankind has always done extreme evil deeds. It’s the advent of recording these deeds and spreading these recordings so freely and easily thru the internet that has changed things. It makes it so such evil acts can almost never be forgotten, because the recordings are kept alive and constantly circulating thru the internet. It’s a new thing in history. Who knows what will happen…..

  • 12345 February 2, 2018 at 2:52 am

    LOL ! comments seems to of gotten his feathers ruffled a bit

    • ladybugavenger February 2, 2018 at 5:57 am

      After swallowing the throw up from reading this article and making it to read the comments, Bob actually had a perspective that is intriguing.

      • comments February 2, 2018 at 12:14 pm

        oh yea, quite the little rant there i guess. im glad i dont have to deal w/ these sorts of people tho. him and his baby torturing videos or w/e it is. i wouldn’t be able to handle a job of dealing w/ these sorts of crimes or people, b/c it’d be just too mentally and spiritually draining.

        I’ll just add a last lil bit here:

        for all you people saying things like: “he’s scum and should die”, “kill him”,”castrate him”,”burn him alive”,”torture him to death” (LOL, yes I read some of the FB comments); realistically the guy isn’t gonna do more than a few years in prison. And when he gets out he’s gonna again be “part of the community”. He’s gonna have a job, he’s gonna be shopping beside you people at the walmart, he’ll have chances to be around kids (even babies!!!), if not have some of his own at some point. At the end of the day this clown didn’t torture any babies himself, even tho he for some reason thought it’d be a good idea to watch videos of it. What I’m saying: you clowns over there in the FB site need to GROW UP! you’re little babies yourselves, whiny and simple!

  • jaybird February 2, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Fing shoot on sight, pedophile. To even look at that sh** wihout being disgusted at it should disgust yourself. He deserves to be right where he is, jail, prison where the other inmates will kick his ass all over the floor. Hes someones bitch now. Good.

  • comments February 4, 2018 at 1:10 am

    Why do the cops have to go as far as telling us about all this baby torturing stuff? Maybe it’s pure shock value they’re aiming for. They could’ve just told us they found illegal stuff, but no, these cops are telling us about all this baby torture porn or w/e the… it is, and now I’m traumatized by it just from having to know this stuff exists. I could’ve gone my whole life, but the cops had to watch this filth and now all of us have to know about it

    ridiculous

  • Kristal February 6, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Having been a victim of the “kind” of abuse this man was viewing, there can be no objection from my perspective to the kind retaliation that should be taken upon a human who would view let alone film and distribute such things.

    This kind of thing destroys the innocence of a child, their right to be happy healthy and safe ripped from them the minute they step outside the womb. There is a huge lack if humanity in the individuals who partake in such madness and evilness the simple gesture if seeing it IS akin to a crime, a witness to it thereof. Commiting the crime is an act of deranged maliciousness that if an animal were to be rabid and bite another it would be out to death without explanation.

    The people who view (for pleasure), commit, solicit, and profit off these crimes are less than human. They lack Neuro transfers that tell them their behavior is wrong. The mechanism that makes them feel, hurt, empathize,sympathize is void, these type of people are the same subhuman, unevolved species that murders their own young, kills animals, destroys people’s lives etc. There cannot EVER be any mercy for these disgusting individuals. They would have to measure up to a moral standard of some sort to even be remotely considered for mercy. They are Godless, deranged, sadistic, evil evil evil people.

    • comments February 6, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      You may be right. In the case of psychopaths, the only way to fix them is to euthanize them. I don’t know if this clown in the article meets the criteria of a psychopath, but it’s very deranged to be “using” or distributing material like that.

      • comments February 6, 2018 at 9:06 pm

        depraved maybe more so than deranged. Maybe both. But there’s no excuse for it.

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