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Former inmate charged with possessing child pornography

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Updated - Apr 23rd, 2019 @ 2:18pm | Posted - Apr 23rd, 2019 @ 12:16pm

TAYLORSVILLE — A man recently released from prison after serving 10 years for aggravated sex abuse of a child now faces new charges of possessing child pornography.

Johnny Paul Lovato, 45, of Taylorsville, was charged earlier this month in 3rd District Court with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.

In 2008, Lovato was convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, and sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. He was sentenced to 15 years to life at the Utah State Prison.

When questioned by police in connection with the latest allegations against him, Lovato "stated he began searching for child pornography 'approximately a month after I got out,' in October 2018," according to charging documents.

"I know it's wrong," he told investigators, according to the charges. But he said he also "talked about not being able to control his urges. He described himself as 'weak' in being unable to combat it."

The investigation began Dec. 27 when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified authorities that a child pornography image had been uploaded by a certain IP address on Dec. 24, according to the charges.

Agents from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested Lovato. He was sent back to prison on a parole violation. A court date for his new charges had not been scheduled as of Tuesday.

Even though Lovato was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years, the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has the power to grant parole before 15 years, something that is not considered uncommon.

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