Police suspect Salt Lake baby sitter may have abused others

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man charged this week with sexually abusing children he baby-sat may have abused more children dating back 20 years, Salt Lake police said Tuesday.

James Gerald Crawford, 43, of Salt Lake City, was charged Monday with sodomy of a child and six counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, first-degree felonies; sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony; and lewdness involving a child, a class A misdemeanor.

He is accused of abusing at least two children and told investigators that he "has urges to touch children sexually" and that "he started exploring those urges about 10 years ago," according to charging documents. His alleged victims were all under 8 years old.

On Tuesday, police asked for other potential victims to come forward.

"Based on statements made by the suspect, it is believed that there is at least one recent victim that has not been identified, as well as victims possibly dating back 20 years," said Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking.

Crawford lived in the area of 800 East and 200 South for the majority of his life, Wilking said, and may have had contact with numerous children "in a variety of ways," including baby-sitting.

He was arrested after alert neighbors asked police to conduct a welfare check at his house, Wilking said.

In 2014, Crawford was charged with forcible sodomy for allegedly abusing a 6-year-old girl he was baby-sitting. But after a preliminary hearing, a judge determined that not enough evidence had been presented and the case was dismissed, according to court records.

Bail for Crawford's new charges was set at $250,000.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 801-799-3000.


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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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