4 men facing child pornography charges

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force is reminding parents to keep a close eye on their kids' text messages and computer work.

Children are using computers more for homework this time of year; and with new friends from school, their text messaging may increase as well. However, not all their communications may be with other children.

Police departments throughout the Salt Lake Valley have made four arrests in the past week dealing with men involved in child pornography. All four cases are separate--none of the men arrested have anything to do with each other.

4 men facing child pornography charges

One man was 19 years old. The Utah Attorney General's Office has not released his name yet.

Matt Messner, 39, was arrested at his home in Sandy. He's facing nine counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Forty-year-old Shane Lopez was arrested in Salt Lake City. Detectives say he was using his mother's computer to download images and videos of child pornography.

Dallen Ashton, 20, was arrested in Olympus Cove. He too is facing charges of downloading child pornography on his computer.

"Every year when school starts back up and goes back in session, we always see a spike in crimes where children are targeted or children are contacted by individuals," said ICAC Capt. Rhett McQuiston. "Sometimes they are other kids who are contacting them; a lot of times they are adults who are pretending to be kids."

Detectives say, so far this year, they've almost doubled the number of arrests in the first six months of this year than last year. They're just asking parents to keep an eye on their children's work.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com

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Alex Cabrero


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