CEDAR CITY — A Salt Lake City man accused of attempting to solicit sexual activities from a minor has been bound over for trial following a preliminary hearing.
Sean Brandon Foard, 48, appeared in court in Cedar City on Tuesday morning before 5th District Judge Ann Marie McIff Allen.
Foard, who has been held without bail in Iron County Jail since Nov. 1, has been charged with the following three counts: attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, a third-degree felony; dealing in harmful material to a minor, also a third-degree felony; and enticing a minor, a class A misdemeanor.
The charges against Foard came as a result of a sting operation conducted starting in mid-August by the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
During Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, an Iron County Sheriff’s Office detective testified that he used a decoy account that he’d set up on popular messaging apps and websites, wherein he would purport to be a 15-year-old girl living in Cedar City.
The detective shared in court excerpts from several sexually explicit messaging conversations that took place between the decoy account and one that allegedly belonged to Foard.
One of the exchanges began with the suspect stating his age as being 48, whereupon the decoy persona replied, “I will be 16 next month,” the detective testified.
Investigators were able to identify Foard through multiple means, the detective stated.
“During the conversation, I obtained the name of Sean, I obtained information that the person owned a Subaru Outback, I obtained information that the person’s build was about 6-(foot)-3, medium build with short blonde hair, and a phone number,” the detective said, noting that the chat conversation eventually migrated from the online messaging app to direct phone texts.
Additionally, the detective testified that some of the sexually explicit photos that were sent to the decoy phone showed a hand with markings that appeared to match the tattoos on the defendant’s hand.
After the detective had been questioned by both the prosecuting and defense attorneys, the court ruled that sufficient probable cause had been established to bind the defendant over for trial. Allen then scheduled Foard’s next court appearance as a pretrial conference on Feb. 6.
This report is based on statements from court documents and law enforcement officials and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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