During the COVID-19 pandemic, our communities and worlds have changed. We have adjusted to a new normal as workplaces and schools closed. During this time, the Investigation Division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office continued to work tirelessly on protecting Utahns and our communities. Below is a case Attorney General Investigators were involved in during the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 13, 2020
An investigation was opened when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children discovered child pornography being distributed between Facebook accounts. After identifying Mary Jean Royce as a suspect, Utah Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators traveled to Beaver, Utah and partnered with the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office deputies engaged in saving a 2-year-old child.
Royce, the mother of the 2-year-old girl, had filmed herself abusing the toddler in order to maintain a relationship with a man she had never met in real life. The mother was arrested and charged in March 2020 with two counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child and 10 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. The girl was taken into custody by the Utah Department of Child and Family Services. Shortly thereafter, the man with whom the videos were shared, was contacted by the New York ICAC Task Force in coordination with Utah Attorney General’s Office’s investigation.
The Utah Attorney General’s Office ICAC Task Force reviews and investigates thousands of these cases in Utah every year. This is an example of a success story from the dozens received and investigated by the Attorney General’s Office.
KSL: Woman filmed herself sexually abusing child, agents say
Cedar City News: In separate, unrelated cases, police arrest 2 Beaver residents on child porn charges