High school senior in Utah accused of possessing, trading child porn

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SALT LAKE CITY — A high school senior was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with downloading and sharing child pornography, according to charging documents.

Herney Pillias, who turned 18 in January, is facing seven counts of exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. He is a senior at Alta High School, according to the Canyons School District.

Pillias' arrest was the result of an investigation by the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force, according to charging documents. Investigators received information from FBI agents in Milwaukee of a person "trading and possessing" child porn on the messaging app Gliph, the charges state.

Using search warrants and subpoenas on Gliph and Google, investigators came up with an email address, according to charging documents. Two other accounts were linked by cookies, including one from the Jordan School District, the charge state.

"A subpoena was issued to the Jordan School District for the subscriber information," the charges state.

Information collected from Jordan School District helped lead investigators to Pillias, according to the charges.

A spokeswoman for the Jordan School District noted Thursday that Pillias was previously a student in the district but for only a short time, and his district email address was not active at the time of his arrest.

When questioned by police, Pillias said he had received videos of young children being sexually abused and that "he shared the links provided to him and traded them to others," according to charging documents.

Seven images of child pornography were discovered during a subsequent search of his phone, the charges state.

A $150,000 warrant was issued for Pillias' arrest on Thursday.

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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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