Saratoga Springs man sentenced for attempted sexual exploitation of minor

Stephen Jay Cooper, seen in Nov. 2023, pleaded guilty to attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and was sentenced to prison.

Stephen Jay Cooper, seen in Nov. 2023, pleaded guilty to attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and was sentenced to prison. (Iron County Sheriff’s Office)


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CEDAR CITY — A 54-year-old man who pleaded guilty to attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and dealing in materials harmful to a minor has been sentenced to prison.

Stephen Jay Cooper, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced in Cedar City by 5th District Judge Matthew L. Bell on May 20, six days before Cooper's 54th birthday.

Calling the case "especially troubling," Bell ordered Cooper to serve zero to five years in Utah State Prison for the two third-degree felonies to which he had pleaded guilty. The sentences will be allowed to run concurrently, the judge ordered. How long Cooper ultimately spends in prison will be determined by the Utah Board of Pardons.

Although the probable cause statement and charging documents associated with the case were sealed at the time they were filed on Nov. 3, 2023, prosecutors said the case involved a sting operation wherein Cooper allegedly began chatting online with an undercover officer in Cedar City who was posing as a 16-year-old girl.

Read the entire story at St. George News.

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