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Copperton man accused of paying boys to strip for him pleads guilty to reduced charges

Published: Thursday, Feb. 25 2016 6:25 p.m. MST

WEST JORDAN — A Copperton man has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in a case alleging he paid young boys to strip for him.

Michael Wade Heagren, 56, pleaded guilty Tuesday to four reduced counts of attempted dealing in materials harmful to a minor, while a fifth charge was dismissed. The original charges included two second-degree felonies and three third-degree felonies.

According to charges filed in 3rd District Court, Heagren offered extra money to young boys he was paying to do chores at his home or a family cabin if the they agreed to take off their clothes. Heagren had met the boys as their basketball coach in middle school, according to court documents.

On one occasion, Heagren paid three boys who had been working at the cabin $50 apiece to strip and lie naked in a stream, charges state. As they did, Heagren stood by his truck and watched, according to the charges.

"(One boy) stated that normally he would have received $30 for the work but received the extra $50 for laying in the stream," charges state.

On another day, Heagren offered two boys $20 each to run naked through a field outside his home, running back and forth past him, according to the charges.

"The each received an extra $20 that day," charges state.

After running through the field, the boys returned with Heagren to the room in his house where he had instructed them to undress, according to court documents. In the room were pornographic magazines, which Heagren showed the boys and joked about as they got dressed, charges state.

The charges also reference two instances where Heagren texted photos of naked women to one of the boys, asking about his love life "now that you are surrounded by women at school" and asking, "So are these the girls you guys are taking out tonight?"

At one point, Heagren messaged the boy saying he had received a text message from his parents, charges state. According to court documents, Heagren told the boy, "Hey bud, your mom sent me a message. Sorry I had you and (another boy) go streaking and pornography. Take care and work hard."

Heagren is scheduled to be sentenced April 19. The four charges Heagren admitted to each carry a potential sentence of up to a year in jail. Prosecutors have agreed to recommend that the sentences run concurrently, according to court documents.

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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