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EX-UTAH OFFICIAL IS ARRAIGNED IN SEX CASE

SHARE EX-UTAH OFFICIAL IS ARRAIGNED IN SEX CASE

Former Utah State Corrections official Scott McAlister was arraigned Friday in 3rd Circuit Court on a second-degree felony charge of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Circuit Judge Robin Reese scheduled a preliminary hearing for McAlister in Reese's court on June 26 at 2 p.m. McAlister was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail following the arraignment. He was to be released to Pre-Trial Services after being booked.McAlister's attorney, Brad Rich, said McAlister planned to return immediately to Arizona after his release. McAlister has been living in Arizona since he left Utah in February. He does not plan to return to Utah until his preliminary hearing, Rich said.

McAlister resigned as inspector general of the Utah Department of Corrections in February after female employees accused him of trying to engage them in group sex. The women said McAlister asked them to view pornographic videos in an attempt to persuade them to have sex with him.

One of the women turned the videos over to investigators, who determined that two of the movies contained child pornography and were taken from an Oregon case file. McAlister worked in Oregon as an assistant attorney general before coming to Utah.

The exploitation charges arise from McAlister's possession of the tapes. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to one to 15 years in prison and fined as much as $10,000.

Prosecutors say they will discuss the charges with McAlister in an attempt to reach a plea bargain. However, Rich said he does not believe McAlister will plead guilty to anything.

"Scott McAlister has never denied that he messed up when he took the tapes," Rich said. "But he is not guilty of this charge. He never set out to exploit children or anything like it."

McAlister obtained the films legally, Rich said. However, he erred in throwing them away instead of returning them to Oregon officials, Rich acknowledged. McAlister threw the tapes away at the home of a female Corrections employee. She retrieved the tapes and turned them over to Utah officials, Rich said.