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Daniel Thompson

OREM — What looked like a family-friendly edited-movie rental store in Orem may actually have been the front of a pornography production studio and distribution center.

During a search Thursday night of the former Flix Club at 908 S. State, police found computers, cameras connected to a television, a large quantity of pornographic videos — some with as many as 20 copies — a keg of beer, alcohol and Lortab pills, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in 4th District Court.

Police conducted the search after arresting Flix Club owner Daniel Thompson, 31, and the store's co-owner, Isaac Lifferth. The two are accused of engaging in sex acts with two 14-year-old girls who told police they were trading sexual favors with the men for money, said Orem Police Lt. Doug Edwards.

According to the affidavit, Thompson told the girls that the store was a front because "actually they distribute and make pornography." He also asked them if they wanted to be in a pornographic movie, but they declined.

The affidavit also states that the girls met Thompson through Lifferth, 24.

Police say Lifferth arranged the meetings and doled out the $20 payments for each 15-minute sex act session with him and Thompson.

Lifferth told police later that Thompson was not aware the girls were being paid, according to the affidavit. He also told police that they had purchased the pornography but hadn't sold or rented any.

Thompson told police the pornography was for "personal use," according to the affidavit.

In later interviews, the two girls told police the sexual meetings began when they decided they wanted money to move out of their homes. So they asked a 16-year-old female friend if she "knew of anyone who would pay for sex," according to the affidavit.

The friend, who had also had sexual relations with Lifferth, sent text messages to several people and Lifferth responded, according to the affidavit.

After sending text messages back and forth, Lifferth and the teens met and then he took them to an apartment complex in Orem. There they traded sexual favors for money and then he took them back, according to the affidavit.

Police have talked with the 16-year-old girl and said she may face punishment as well.

Lifferth later arranged a meeting with Thompson and the girls at Flix Club. The three went to a back room where they performed sex acts after Thompson assured the girls there were no security cameras, according to the affidavit.

"Both men said they thought the girls were 18," Edwards said. "According to the investigators they didn't look 18."

The illegal activity only came to light when one of the girls' mothers discovered a $20 bill in her child's room, Edwards said.

Fearing she had stolen it, she confronted her and learned that it had been payment for sexual activity. The mother called police Tuesday.

Thompson and Lifferth were arrested, taken to the Orem police station, questioned, then booked into the Utah County Jail on $30,000 cash or bond bail each Thursday night, Edwards said.

Thompson bailed out at noon Friday from the jail, where he had been booked for investigation of unlawful sexual activities with a 14-year-old and forcible sex abuse.

Lifferth is still in jail for investigation of patronizing a prostitute, unlawful sexual activity with a 14-year-old, forcible sex abuse, aiding prostitution and unlawful possession of a prescription drug.

It's not the first time the men have been arrested. Lifferth has been arrested seven times, several times for drug possession and numerous times for traffic violations.

Thompson has five arrests since 2002, according to records from the Utah County Jail.

Thompson is still on felony probation with Adult Probation and Parole for a 2001 case for selling unregistered securities and owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution, according to court documents and AP&P.

The arrest has shocked many who knew Thompson as their squeaky-clean movie distributor.

Devin Sims of Lindon would drive down to Orem frequently to get family-appropriate films. "It's a surprise," he said. "It does shock me (because) he was so big on promoting family-friendly entertainment and taking out inappropriate things."

Sims said he only knew him from the store and described him as "cordial, personable and a good store owner."

Thompson had just recently shut down his store because he was facing intense legal pressure from Hollywood. A judge had ruled in July 2006 that edited movies violated copyright laws.

"I think it's a real bummer," said Kirt Merrill, who recently closed his legitimate edited-movie store Cougar Video in Provo because of the same legal pressures. "I don't think it sends the right message. It's disappointing. It doesn't help the cause (of edited movies) any, that's for sure."


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