Beaver man sentenced to jail, probation in child pornography case

Composite image. Background photo by Alex Star/iStock/Getty Images Plus. Inset booking photo of Nathaniel Tyler Adams, Beaver, Utah, Jan. 16, 2020 | Booking photo courtesy of Beaver County Sheriff's Office, St. George News St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — A Beaver man who pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor has been sentenced to a year in jail plus four years of probation.

Nathaniel Tyler Adams, 24, was sentenced Monday by 5th District Judge Keith C. Barnes, who ordered that Adams serve 364 days in the Beaver County Jail, with credit given for the five months he has already served since his Jan. 16 arrest.

Additionally, following his release from jail, Adams will be on supervised probation for 48 months, during which time his internet access will be restricted and closely monitored by parole officers, along with any contact with children under 18. 

The sentencing document states that Adams also must abide by several other required conditions of his probation, including successfully completing a sex offender treatment program and maintaining full-time employment or spending the equivalent amount of time performing community service.

Adams will also be listed as sex offender on the statewide registry.

As previously reported in Cedar City News, Adams was arrested at his home in Beaver in January after investigators with the Utah Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force reportedly found explicit messages in an online chat that mentioned sexually abusing a minor child, along with images of child pornography on an Instagram account belonging to Adams. 

Jail booking photo of Nathaniel Tyler Adams, Beaver, Utah, Jan. 16, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Beaver County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Adams was originally charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. However, as part of a plea agreement Adams agreed to in April, six of the original counts were dropped and the remaining four counts were reduced to third-degree felony charges of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.

On Tuesday, prosecuting attorney Ryan Holtan of the Utah Attorney General’s Office told Cedar City News the reasoning behind the plea agreement dealt with the nature of the case.

“The tricky thing with child pornography is, there’s sometimes thousands and thousands of counts,” Holtan said. “Regardless of how many counts of child pornography you charge somebody with, if they’re convicted of two, five, 10 or 20, the courts actually don’t treat those much differently.”

Holtan said Adams’ current plea actually carries a greater sentence than if he had been convicted of all the counts for which he was originally charged.

“What we did is, when we pled him to the four charges, we ran those consecutive,” he said. “If he screws up, he’ll go to prison for up to 20 years. Whereas, an initial charge of child pornography only carries the potential of up to 15 (years).”

In addition to suspending the four consecutive prison terms of 0-5 years each during Adams’ sentencing, Barnes waived more than $38,000 in fines. If Adams fails to successfully adhere to the terms outlined in his sentencing, the judge could reinstate any or all penalties.

Even though prosecution was ultimately handled by the state Attorney General’s Office, Holtan expressed his appreciation for the law enforcement officers in Beaver County who assisted with the case.

“It started with us and finished with us, but the county participated in assisting us with the search warrant and the arrest,” he said. “Beaver has really been great to work with. They were incredibly helpful.”

Holtan said he hopes Adams will respond favorably to the terms of his sentencing and treatment.

“He’s young. I think he’s accepted responsibility,” Holtan said. “With the support of his family and treatment, more so than anything, I think, hopefully, he’ll do really well.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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