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Heber City man charged in child porn investigation

Published: Wednesday, July 9 2014 9:40 a.m. MDT

A Heber City man who was the target of a year-long child pornography investigation now faces criminal charges and has been arrested.

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HEBER CITY — A Heber City man who was the target of a yearlong child pornography investigation now faces criminal charges and has been arrested.

George Darnstaedt, 56, was charged July 2 in 4th District Court with with 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was later booked into the Wasatch County Jail.

The investigation into Darnstaedt began in June of 2013 when undercover agents working for the Internet Crimes Against Children task force came across a person on the Internet offering to share child pornography, according to charging documents.

"While directly connected to the computer at the suspect IP, agents were able to observe 92 additional files with titles indicative and consistent with files of child pornography," the charges state.

Investigators served a warrant at Darnstaedt's house a few weeks later where he lived with his wife and two juvenile girls. The wife told detectives that her husband had been convicted of child abuse in the past "and was certain George would become violent after the warrant was completed," charging documents state.

Utah state court records show Darnstaedt took a plea in abeyance in 2013 to child abuse, a class A misdemeanor. Police investigating that case found bruising on his daughter's leg, buttocks and lower back, according to charging documents.

In August, Darnstaedt's wife filed for divorce and in December he was charged with violating a protective order. The divorce filing, however, was eventually dropped.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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