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Parolee arrested for allegedly offering thousands to officer posing as teen

By Pat Reavy, Deseret News | Posted - Jan. 19, 2021 at 8:34 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — A man convicted twice of crimes against children has been arrested again after police say he offered thousands of dollars to someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl.

Christopher Philip Padilla, 31, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Friday and formally charged on Tuesday in 3rd District Court with criminal solicitation and enticing a minor, both first-degree felonies.

In September, Padilla began chatting online with an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl, according to charging documents.

"Chris offered the girl work and said he would pay her money in the hundreds and even a thousand," according to a police affidavit. Charging documents state Padilla offered the undercover officer as much as $4,000 for two weeks.

He requested that the girl video chat with him and show him her underwear, and then told the girl he'd be willing to pay her friends, too, if they were "willing to work," according to the affidavit.

Police arranged to have a person pose as the young girl Padilla believed he was talking to and speak with him on a video chat. During the call, Padilla offered the "girl" and her friends $8,400 to work for him, according to the charges.

Over the course of several weeks, Padilla continually asked to meet up with the girl and even offered another $5,300, the charges state. The undercover officer kept reminding Padilla that she was only 13, according to police.

After sending sexually explicit messages to the undercover officer, the two arranged to meet on Friday, the affidavit states. When he arrived at the designed meeting location, he was taken into custody.

When he was arrested, Padilla admitted he had offered to pay an underage girl and "thanked detectives for stopping him from doing something he would regret," according to a police affidavit.

The affidavit states that Padilla was on parole at the time of his arrest. In 2015, he was convicted of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and enticing a minor, according to court records, and was sentenced to probation.

But in 2016 he was arrested and charged again and in 2017 he was convicted of enticing a minor. He was sentenced in that case to one to 15 years in the Utah State Prison..

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Pat Reavy

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