Sydney Rhees jailed for child pornography in Salt Lake City

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Sydney Rhees, age 29, of Salt Lake City, charged with possession of child pornography in an indictment returned in February, will spend 70 months in federal prison.

Judge Stewart also ordered Rhees, who pled guilty to the charge in July, to serve 300 months of supervised release when he finishes his federal prison sentence. The sentence was imposed in federal court last week.

Rhees was arrested earlier this year after a concerned citizen contact the Salt Lake Unified Police Department to report that while he was at Rhees’ residence, Rhees showed him videos and still images depicting children and infants being sexually abused by adult males.

According to documents filed in court, Rhees also expressed interest in adopting a young baby boy and raising the baby so he could sexually molest him. Rhees described this to the concerned citizen as Utopia.

An FBI agent, acting in an undercover capacity, posed as the concerned citizen online and sent Rhees a text message. Subsequent text messages between the FBI agent and Rhees corroborated details provided by the concerned citizen regarding Rhees’ involvement in child pornography. A search warrant was executed at Rhees’ residence. Videos depicting child pornography were found during the search.

“This case has several disturbing aspects, including the nature of the child pornography found in Rhees’ possession, his prior contact with adoption and foster care agencies, and his history of employment working with children. Because of the danger which he posed to children, a 70-month federal prison sentence, followed by 300 months of supervised release under court-imposed conditions, is an appropriate resolution and the best way to ensure that this defendant does not re-offend,” U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen said today.

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