Jury acquits man accused of soliciting nude photos from Utah teen
DUCHESNE — An Oregon man accused of soliciting nude photos from a Utah teen has been acquitted of all charges.
A jury of five men and three women deliberated for more than an hour Tuesday night before returning not-guilty verdicts in the case of Daniel Dean Divine.
Divine, 31, was charged in July with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, and one count of enticing a minor over the Internet, a class A misdemeanor, in 8th District Court.
A 13-year-old Duchesne County girl told investigators Divine gave her an iPhone and asked her to use it to send him nude photos of herself, according to charging documents. But she said she couldn't figure out how to make the phone work, so she asked her mother for help.
The mother, who is 35, told investigators she took three nude photos of her daughter, even though she knew they would be sent to Divine, court records state. The woman pleaded guilty in December to child abuse, a third-degree felony, and is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 14.
The Deseret News does not typically report the identities of victims of sex crimes and therefore is not publishing the name of the mother to protect her daughter.
Duchesne County Attorney Stephen Foote said he doesn't know what led the jury to reach its not-guilty verdicts, but noted that prosecutors were not able to call a key witness in their case.
"We were unable to present the testimony of the defendant's father, who saw the photos alleged on (Divine's) computer because (the father) is civilly committed in Oregon," Foote said.
Prosecutors had asked for a continuance so they could bring Divine's father to Utah to testify. Judge Douglas Thomas denied the request, citing concerns that the delay would violate Divine's right to a speedy trial.
Following his acquittal, Divine was released from the Duchesne County Jail, where he had been held since his extradition from Oregon in July. An attempt to contact his attorney for comment Tuesday night was unsuccessful.
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