ST. GEORGE — An 18-year-old in Iron County has been charged with misdemeanor voyeurism following an investigation into a report of videos captured surreptitiously and uploaded to a social media account.

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Chainarong Prasertthai/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

According to charging documents filed with the court, the arrest stems from an investigation into a report alleging that a suspect had uploaded multiple intimate videos involving an underaged teen. The videos, investigators say, were taken surreptitiously and then posted on the social media platform Snapchat. 

The suspect was identified as 18-year-old Luis Diego Perez of Cedar City.

According to investigators, the suspect had met the teen online. The two continued communicating on social media for several months and met in person a few times prior to the incident taking place.

During a late night meeting that took place in September, investigators say the suspect met the youth at residence in Washington County, where the teen discovered that Perez had his cell phone pointed in the direction of the bed. Unbeknownst to the victim, he was recording a video.

Slide showing Snapchat loses 2 million users as shares shrink to new low in June, 2018, shown during the Utah Coalition against Pornography conference held a the Dixie Center St. George, Utah, Sept. 14, 2019 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The report also states the victim grabbed the suspect’s phone and deleted two videos and told him to leave immediately. 

In the meantime, the youth remembered seeing a third video file on the suspect’s phone and sent a message to him to delete it. The suspect then sent a snippet of one of the videos to the victim and the two discontinued any further communication. 

Within 48 hours of the incident, the youth reported the incident to police. Investigators served a search warrant on the social media platform for the suspect’s accounts. During a review they found part of a video taken after 11:30 p.m. on the night in question, but were unable to locate any other videos.

During an interview with police, Perez reportedly admitted to taking the sexually explicit videos, but said it was the victim who wanted him to do so. When detectives asked why the youth had wanted them deleted when the videos were discovered, he said “he did not know.”

The detectives also noted in the report that “it does not make sense” that Perez recorded the videos using his phone and social media account, rather than on the youth’s account, if it was in fact the victim who wanted the videos.

File photo of the St. George Police Department headquarters in St. George, Utah, Jan. 16, 2024 | Photo by Haven Scott, St. George News

Last week, Perez arrived at the St. George Police Department to turn himself in and was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility shortly after. The following day, the suspect was formally charged with one misdemeanor count of voyeurism – recording. He was released from jail after posting bond.

Perez was scheduled to make an initial appearance in 5th District Court on Wednesday in St. George. No other cases filed against the suspect were found during a review of court records.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders 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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