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SANDY — A Sandy man was charged Friday with possessing child pornography and engaging in religiously-themed child sexual abuse conversations.
Ronald E. Westrup, 23, is charged in 3rd District Court with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.
The Internet Crimes Against Children task force began investigating Westrup in December after suspected child pornography was uploaded on the Discord app. When questioned by investigators, Westrup claimed he had been viewing child pornography for over 10 years and "would seek out, find and download" it, according to charging documents.
Prosecutors say Westrup also "engages in sexually-charged fantasy conversations" and talks about "sexually abusing male children in his church congregation," according to the charges. Furthermore, he has "engaged in religiously-themed sexual fantasies," including missionaries sexually abusing children, the charges state.
"Mr. Westrup admitted that he has downloaded thousands of images" of child pornography over the years, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors have requested that Westrup be held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail pending trial.