Man arrested for allegedly luring 13-year-old with nude photos while on probation for child sex abuse

2018 file photo of Washington County Sheriff's deputies responding to a crash on Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Jan. 30, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Washington County man previously convicted for child sexual abuse is back in jail after allegedly sharing obscene material with a 13-year-old girl.

Jacob Clark, of Beryl, booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah, Feb. 5, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Jacob Clark, 24, of Beryl, was arrested Tuesday evening by Washington County Corrections officers for violating the terms of his probation. Clark previously pleaded guilty to second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child in September 2016. At that time, two other charges of enticing a minor over the internet and dealing harmful materials to a minor were dropped.

A warrant for Clark’s arrest was issued Monday, five days after police say they found materials exploiting children and “depicting non-consensual acts or acts involving force or violence” on Jan. 30, the same day the defendant’s sex offender treatment was completed.

The investigation into the recent allegations began after police met with a Homeland Security investigator who provided information going back to May 2018 involving Clark having unauthorized contact with a teenage girl through a number of online social networking sites, a violation of the defendant’s probation agreement.

Upon further investigation, detectives discovered that none of the social networking sites he was using had been registered with Adult Probation and Parole as required.

They also found that Clark had successfully completed outpatient sex offender treatment in December 2018, which included passing two polygraph examinations that coincided with time frame he was allegedly involved in “high risk behavior” that included having contact with the 13-year-old girl.

As with the previous case, Clark enticed the youth into engaging in role-playing activities that included sending and receiving sexually explicit images to one another, according to the declaration in support of arrest and order to show cause filed with the court.

The texts and images were discovered after the teen’s phone was confiscated by her parents, who found messages that were sexual in nature sent by an individual using a screen name that police say they determined belonged to Clark.

The parents contacted police, and during an interview, the teen reportedly admitted that she had been texting “JC” for several months and said the two exchanged explicit images that were sent over the social networking services Snapchat and Kik, according to court documents. The teen also told police that she told “JC” that she was 13 years old.

A detective accompanied by the federal investigator went to Clark’s residence where the defendant allegedly admitted to having used social networking sites. When police viewed his phone, they discovered that he was on Facebook and Instagram. Clark later admitted to being on Snapchat as well, and the phone was seized as evidence.

Police say Clark admitted to using the screen name provided by the teen and then invoked his right to have an attorney present, saying “I know where this is going, just like before,” according to the court record.

The defendant’s probation report dated Jan. 31, 2019, states, “In light of his recent violations, that the most severe happened several months ago while in the middle of treatment, it is of utmost concern he was secretive and manipulative to treatment and AP&P standards.”

According to the report, all of the resources spent on Clark’s sex offender treatment are “nullified due to the alleged offenses he committed with a teenage girl over the Internet. … These activities nearly mirror many aspects of his previous sex offense.”

In the previous case, the mother of a 13-year-old girl contacted Washington County Sheriff’s Office after she found inappropriate “sexual conversations” between the suspect and her daughter on an iPad.

In an interview with police two days later, the girl allegedly admitted she had been talking and “hanging out” with Clark and told investigators the defendant had inappropriately touched her and sent her nude photos over the internet.

Read more: Cedar City man arrested on felony charges filed in Washington County

Court documents in a different case dated March 24, 2014, state Clark was arrested by Cedar City Police for being in violation of a civil stalking injunction filed by another mother who told police Clark and her daughter were in a motel room in Cedar City. When officers made contact with the suspect, they allegedly found the minor in the room.

Clark is being held at Purgatory Correctional Facility in Washington County without bail as this report publishes.

This report is based on statements from police and may not contain the full scope of findings. 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: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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