ST. GEORGE — A 21-year-old has been formally charged with multiple felony sexual exploitation counts following a monthslong investigation by detectives who were tasked to follow up on a tip received by a national missing children’s center in January.
On Friday, Maxx Logan Pintus, of St. George, was arrested and booked into jail in Washington County facing three second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. These charges were filed by the Washington County Attorney’s Office on Oct. 18, and one week later a $25,000 warrant was issued for Pintus’ arrest.
Pintus was released after posting a bond later that same day.
The case was filed following a monthslong investigation that began in January when the St. George Police Department’s Detective Division received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Cyber tipline regarding an online user that reportedly uploaded suspected child sexual abuse material to an internet account.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the arrest warrant, on the evening of Jan. 2, the online provider became aware of possible illegal activity and discovered that three illicit abuse videos were uploaded to its platform, which is when the information was forwarded to the tipline.
Investigators were tasked with reviewing the videos that reportedly depicted the sexual abuse of children as young as 6 years old.
Once the subscriber’s account was identified as belonging to Pintus, detectives obtained a search warrant for the Pintus’ residence in St. George.
The warrant also allowed investigators to search Pintus’ cellphone and seize any digital evidence that could be forensically analyzed.
While executing the warrant, officers encountered Pintus, who reportedly told detectives “he remembered the videos” and said he uploaded them to an online storage account.
The account was locked right after he uploaded the content, he said, adding that those were the only digital copies of the videos. As such, he said he no longer had access to the videos, authorities say.
He also denied having any other explicit videos involving children. No other images or abuse-related materials were found during the forensic analysis of the devices that were recovered from the residence, according to the report.
When asked, Pintus told detectives “he didn’t know why he kept the videos and stated he knew it was wrong,” the report states.
Pintus was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility on the above-listed charges and a warrant review hearing was scheduled to take place on Tuesday. But according to the bond paperwork, the defendant is scheduled to make an initial appearance on Dec. 22, so the review hearing was continued until Nov. 7 and will take place in 5th District Court in St. George.
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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