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Salt Lake man who works with children charged in child porn case

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake man who works with children at a treatment center is facing charges of child pornography.

Sydney Rhees, 28, was named in a federal complaint Thursday, charging him with one count of possessing child pornography received by way of interstate commerce. The complaint states that Rhees' behavior was discovered by another man who met Rhees on an Internet dating site. The man said Rhees showed him a number of child pornography videos, many of them accessed through the Internet.

Rhees also showed the man photos of two, young local boys that Rhees claimed he had sexual relationships with and said he wanted to adopt an infant boy that he could molest "from infancy," the complaint states. Prosecutors say this was Rhees' definition of "Utopia."

Soon after, the second man allowed police to assume his online identity. Messages sent afterward confirmed the stories the man had told police, the complaint states.

Prosecutors say Rhees is employed at a residential treatment facility in West Jordan, where he works with children. A search warrant was obtained, and officers searched Rhees' home and vehicle. They questioned him, and he admitted to viewing child pornography as recently as Feb. 10, the complaint states.

A hearing Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells will determine whether Rhees will be placed in police custody pending a resolution of his case.

— Emiley Morgan