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Payson man now charged with sexually abusing 7 children in 2 counties

A Payson man now faces 17 felonies accusing him of sexually abusing seven children in two counties and threatening at gunpoint to kill one of the girls if she ever told anyone about the abuse.

A Payson man now faces 17 felonies accusing him of sexually abusing seven children in two counties and threatening at gunpoint to kill one of the girls if she ever told anyone about the abuse. (Sebastian Duda, Shutterstock)


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WEST JORDAN — A Payson man already facing numerous sex abuse charges in Utah County now faces similar charges in Salt Lake County after investigators say they've identified additional victims.

Jonathan Allyn Babb, 56, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with nine counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, sodomy on a child, and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, all first-degree felonies.

Babb is now charged in two cases with a total of 17 first-degree felonies, including 13 counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, sodomy on a child, and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

The charges represent abuses that police say were committed against seven victims. Charging documents filed Thursday describe abuse to five girls between the ages of 6 and 16 that occurred between 2007 and 2008.

In one incident, the day after inappropriately touching a young girl, Babb showed the girl a gun, "pointed it at her, and told her that if she told anyone about what he had done, he would kill her and kill her mom. (She) said after this, it happened almost every day," the charges state.

The mother of the girls also found a thumb drive owned by Babb that contained explicit photos of at least two of her daughters, according to the charges.

In July, Babb was arrested by Payson police and later formally charged after allegedly giving a teenage girl a sex toy. After he was taken into custody, it was discovered that Babb had photos of girls showering in a bathroom, according to charging documents.

"Officers looked in the bathroom and located a camera that was hidden in a power outlet. Officers removed the outlet and found a USB port inside as well as an SD card slot. The camera was positioned so that it was at the same angle as the photos of the victims," the charges state.

Babb's next court appearance in his Utah County case is scheduled for Monday.

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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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