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AMERICAN FORK — A Payson man was ordered Tuesday to spend up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to enticing a minor.
Brayden Eric Tousley, 28, was charged in January after officers met up with him in an undercover operation where he believed he was arranging a meeting with a 13-year-old girl. After looking at his messages, police later learned that he had illegal sexual relations with a high school student, according to charging documents.
Tousley pleaded guilty to enticing a minor and four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. In exchange for his pleas, a charge of rape of a child, a first-degree felony, was dismissed.
He was sentenced to terms of one to 15 years in prison for each of the five counts. Fourth District Judge Denise Porter ordered three of the counts to run consecutive to the other two.
Tousley told the judge he has personal goals to improve himself, repair damage to his relationships, and help others stay away from acting without thinking as he did.
"It might sound strange, but I needed this," he said. "I needed to right from this terrible action that I've caused."
He said he has learned to change his thoughts, through a class he has taken, and that he wants victims to be able to receive therapy and help.
"I trust that whatever needs to happen will happen, and I'm ready to heal in whichever way is possible," Tousley said before his sentence was issued.
Utah County deputy attorney Julia Thomas told the judge Tousley agreed as part of the plea bargain that prosecutors would recommend consecutive sentences and said the deal was "well-considered" based on Tousley's history.
"In investigation of those (offenses) it became apparent that Mr. Tousley was actually a very prolific predator of children, of young girls," Thomas said.
She said there are other cases against Tousley; and although the pre-sentence report recommends probation, she said it did not take into account information outside of that case.
Tousley also faces five counts of enticing a minor in 1st District Court, three second-degree felonies and two third-degree felonies. These charges were filed in February and are still pending. Those charges were filed after separate undercover officers had arranged a meeting with Tousley. They learned that he had been booked into the Utah County Jail when he did not show up.
State Bureau of Investigation officer Nathan Clark told the judge there is another case he plans to send to prosecutors this week for potential charges regarding Tousley and a 16-year-old engaging in sexual acts "that were quite horrific and demeaning" on four separate occasions.
"I thoroughly believe that putting him on probation could put further children at risk," Clark said.