Charges: Utah man exchanged nude photos with 10-year-old Missouri girl

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Cache County man accused of engaging in sexually explicit conversations with a 10-year-old Missouri girl, including exchanging nude pictures, was scheduled to make an initial appearance in court Tuesday.

Guadalupe Vega Cervantez, 20, of Logan, was charged Dec. 6 in 1st District Court with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.

According to a search warrant unsealed Tuesday, the investigation began in May when the Lebanon, Missouri, Police Department was asked to assist the Laclede County, Missouri, Sheriff’s Department "in an investigation involving a 10-year-old female victim who had been sexually exploited by an adult male residing in the state of Utah."

Cervantez had been communicating with the girl through Instagram and direct texting, the warrant states. As the investigation progressed, authorities learned Cervantez was a student at Utah State University, the warrant states. Utah State police were called to assist. An officer "observed subject Vega in class and followed him to his vehicle," according to the warrant, and noted a parking permit in his car for a complex in Logan.

On Dec. 4, agents from the Department of Homeland Security and FBI Child Exploitation Task Force served a search warrant on Cervantez's apartment, according to charging documents.

According to the warrant, after reviewing the images the girl allegedly sent Cervantez, "it should be noted that at no point in the conversation after these images were exchanged did the Instagram user (Cervantez) attempt to determine the age of the user," even though investigators stated the girl in the pictures was "clearly" underage.

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


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