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Utah man claimed child porn pictures came from nudist camp, charges state

A man convicted two years ago of possessing child pornography is in trouble again after law enforcers allegedly found additional images hidden inside a walker, according to court documents.
A man convicted two years ago of possessing child pornography is in trouble again after law enforcers allegedly found additional images hidden inside a walker, according to court documents.
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SALT LAKE CITY — A man convicted two years ago of possessing child pornography is in trouble again after law enforcers allegedly found additional images hidden inside a walker, according to court documents.

Joel Stephen Sherrill, 67, of St. George, was charged Wednesday in 5th District Court with six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.

While conducting a checkup on Sherrill, an officer from Adult Probation and Parole placed Sherrill under arrest on July 2 for allegedly drinking, a violation of his probation, the charges state.

After placing him in custody, Sherrill asked if the officer could gather some of his personal items. The officer went to the hotel where Sherrill was staying and located his walker near his parking spot, the charges state.

"Mr. Sherrill stated that the walker belonged to him and that the hotel allows him to leave it there to make it easier for him to access it rather than having to lift it out of his vehicle as Mr. Sherrill suffers from a handicap that makes it difficult for him to walk and lift things," according to court documents.

The officer collected the walker, and "in doing so found that the walker had a compartment underneath the seat," the charges state.

Inside the compartment was a cellphone that the officer was unaware Sherrill had, according to the charges. The officer had Sherrill unlock the phone and found an image of child pornography, the charges state.

A search warrant was obtained to look at the phone in more detail.

"Upon reviewing the cellular smartphone, I found many images of sexual activity and pornography. I also found approximately 53 images of children in varying states of undress, nude and in sexual positions," the charges state.

When questioned by police, Sherrill claimed the pictures were from a nudist camp, according to the charges.

In 2017, Sherrill was convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, after child pornography was found on his cellphone and laptop, according to charging documents. He was given a suspended prison sentence and sentenced to the Washington County Jail for 320 days, court records state.