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Fire Official Charged With Eliciting Sex From a Minor

Fire Official Charged With Eliciting Sex From a Minor

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Utah fire official accused of trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a minor has been charged with two felonies.

Dennis Steadman, 54, was arrested Wednesday during an undercover operation by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He is one of 12 battalion chiefs for the Unified Fire Authority, which provides service to several towns in the Salt Lake City area.

According to a probable-cause statement filed in 3rd District Court Steadman twice arranged over the Internet to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl, but was really an undercover agent. Steadman did not show up for the first meeting, but at the second meeting he was arrested, according to the statement.

After his arrest, Steadman said he had a "problem" and expressed a desire to go into therapy, according to the statement. Steadman also said he frequently talks to children about sexual matters and he has looked at child pornography on the Internet, according to the statement.

Steadman has been placed on administrative leave while the UFA conducts an internal investigation.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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