SALT LAKE CITY — The operator of a bounce house business in Heber City has pleaded guilty in a sex abuse case involving three boys who worked for him.
Bryce Johnson, 33, pleaded guilty Oct. 18 to three counts of attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child. While the charges remained first-degree felonies, they were reduced from allegations of aggravated sexual abuse of a child.
A fourth count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and one count of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor, were dismissed in exchange for his plea.
As part of the deal, Johnson pleaded guilty in a second case against him to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, while 18 more identical charges were dismissed.
Prosecutors agreed to recommend that sentences in the two cases run concurrent to each other, but may argue to have the individual charges in each case run back-to-back. They also agreed not to use the words "consecutive" or "concurrent" as they argue at the sentencing hearing, according to court documents.
A Heber resident, Johnson is the owner and operator of Fun Stuff LLC, which runs Heber Bounce, a company offering a bounce house, waterslide and other activities catering to children.
Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 13. Each of the first-degree felonies carries a potential maximum sentence of at least three years and up to life in prison, while the possible prison sentences for second-degree felonies are at least one and up to 15 years.
Johnson admitted in court documents to convincing two boys to perform sexual acts on each other while he watched, and to photographing a third boy in his underwear. Charging documents alleged the boys were paid to participate.Comment on this story
The charges had also accused Johnson of touching a fourth boy inappropriately and telling him he wanted to have sex with the boy when they were together at an ice rink.
Johnson also admitted to having two images of child pornography.
Johnson remains in custody in Wasatch County Jail with bail set at $100,000 cash. Fourth District Judge Jennifer Brown declined to reduce Johnson's bail in June.
Those who have experienced sexual violence can be connected to trained advocates through Utah's statewide 24-hour Rape and Sexual Assault Crisis Line at 888-421-1100.