CEDAR CITY – Less than one month after the sex crimes arrest of a Cedar City man who was found with hundreds of pornographic images of preadolescent girls on his phone, his 26-year-old wife was taken into custody by the Cedar City Police Department and charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Cedar City resident Jessica Lynn Huntsman allegedly confessed during a pre-interview at the Iron County Children’s Justice Center on Sept. 3 that she had sought out child pornography with her husband to use for “the purpose of sexual arousal,” according to a probable cause statement filed in support of her arrest.
The pre-interview was to explain to Huntsman the interview process her two young children would undergo while at the Children’s Justice Center, the statement reported, but while going over procedures, Huntsman expressed concern to the conducting officer about how the pornography found on her husband’s phone would be perceived.
“I told her that we were experienced and could be trusted when evaluating the evidence against Chad,” the officer reported in the statement. “She then said that she and Chad had searched ‘under 18’ Pornography (sic) together.”
At that time, the interview was stopped and Huntsman was read her Miranda rights, according to the statement. Moving to an official interview room where the dialogue could be recorded, the statement reported, the officer continued asking Huntsman questions regarding the porn.
Huntsman then described times when she and her husband, Chad Ryan Huntsman, would search “young girls” together – some, she told the officer, she believed to be as young as 10 years old, the statement said.
Jessica Huntsman’s phone was seized, taken to the lab and searched.
“It was found that she had three seperate (sic) photographs of Child Pornography (sic) on her phone of four young children,” the statement reported. “Two are close up photographs that show the Childrens (sic) genitalia and the third shows posed children engaged in sexual activity with one another, meant to be titillating in nature.”
A doctor was brought in to examine the photographs, the statement reported, and, based on her findings, it was determined the photographs were of children under the age of 18.
Both of the Huntsmans were employed at a Hurricane troubled youth facility, Diamond Ranch Academy, as science teachers at the time of Chad Huntsman’s arrest, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.
While a statement was issued by the academy shortly after Chad Huntsman’s arrest in regard to the incident, no one at the academy has been available for response in regard to Jessica Huntsman as this report is published.
In the statement issued Sept. 9 by Diamond Ranch Academy, it was reported that although the school had no reason to believe any incidents occurred on campus that put any of its residents in harm’s way, an internal investigation was initiated to ensure the safety of the academy’s youth.
The academy placed Chad Huntsman on a suspended status while the internal investigation was being conducted.
Jessica Huntsman was arrested Sept. 29, according to the statement, and she is currently facing three second-degree felony charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Jessica Huntsman was booked into the Iron County Jail, but, according to a bond statement filed by AAA Bail Bonds with the 5th District Court on Oct. 1, she was released from custody on a $10,000 bond.
Jessica Huntsman’s husband was taken into custody on Sept. 3 and charged with two first-degree felony counts of aggravated child sexual abuse and 10 second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. He was released Sept. 4 on a $100,000 bond, according to a bond statement filed by Sportsman’s Bail Bonds.
An initial court appearance for Jessica Huntsman is scheduled for Oct. 21 at 10 a.m.
Chad Huntsman is scheduled to appear in 5th District court on Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. to waive his preliminary hearing, according to court documents.
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