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Utah man with 'sexual interest' in children arrested in sting, police say

Tyler Roy Leggett
Tyler Roy Leggett
Salt Lake County Jail

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who told police he had a sexual interest in children now faces criminal charges for allegedly trying to solicit a 12-year-old girl and possessing child porn.

Tyler Roy Leggett, 25, of Salt Lake City, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony; arranging to distribute a controlled substance, a second-degree felony; 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony; attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, a third-degree felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

During an undercover operation targeting social media and dating apps, Leggett engaged in an online conversation with someone he thought was a 12-year-old girl, according to charging documents.

Leggett's language became increasingly graphic with the undercover officer, the charges state. He then began texting the person he thought was a 12-year-old girl and "began texting in a sexually explicit manner," saying he wanted to have sex with the girl, according to charging documents.

In another text, "Leggett stated that smoking meth made sex '10 times better,’" and in another said that "if they became boyfriend and girlfriend, they would have to keep it a secret," the charges state.

On July 8, after Leggett arranged to meet the "girl," he was arrested when he arrived at the designated location. When he was arrested, police found he was carrying a baggie of meth, according to the charges.

When investigators searched his Dropbox account they found images and videos of child pornography, the charges state.

"Tyler was also found to be in possession of at least 10 videos and photos of prepubescent children engaging in sexual activity with adults," according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. "(He) stated that he did have a sexual interest in children as young as 7 years old."

Prosecutors have requested a high bail of $500,000.

On June 25, Leggett was charged with theft, a second-degree felony, for allegedly grabbing two phones and a backpack from two women at St. Mark's Hospital in May. When police were able to track down Leggett about a month later, he said he had sold one of the stolen cellphones "to obtain money to purchase methamphetamine," according to charging documents.