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Ogden photographer tried to get sex in exchange for photos, police say

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OGDEN — A professional photographer in Ogden has been arrested and accused of using his photography business to sexually abuse at least two women.

Russell Scott Healey, 58, was booked into the Weber County Jail Tuesday. He was formally charged Wednesday in 2nd District Court with two counts of object rape, a first-degree felony, and two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

Healey is the owner of Rusty Healey Photography, 545 E. 12th Street. The Weber County Sheriff’s Office described him as a “well-known photographer in the area” who holds drawings where individuals can win photo shoots with him, but they have to pay for the photos.

The investigation started with one woman, but police said they learned that Healey may have used his position as a photographer to sexually abuse multiple women. While serving a search warrant on his studio, his own wife told police she was glad he was caught, according to a police affidavit.

The investigation began after a woman told police she won one of these photo shoots and was photographed at Healey’s studio. However the woman never received the pictures, even after working for Healey doing makeup for other clients instead of paying full price for the photo shoot, the affidavit states.

Healey eventually told the woman he would take her to his studio to get the pictures. “The victim reported that she decided to go on the motorcycle ride with Rusty because she wanted her photos and Rusty told her that he would take her to get them. The victim took a picture of herself and what she was wearing and sent them to her brother via text. The victim advised that she did so because she was nervous about going on a ride with Rusty and what might happen,” the affidavit states.

Healey drove her to the remote gates of Little Mountain Air Force Test Facility on his motorcycle, where he told her he was infatuated with her and sexually assaulted her, according to the affidavit.

“The victim stated that she looked around and realized that she was in the middle of nowhere and had nowhere to go or nobody to hear her or help her,” deputies wrote in the affidavit. “The victim reported that while Rusty was doing all of this she was saying ‘no’ and telling Rusty to stop but he just kept telling her, ‘Shhh! Just be a good girl.’”

A search warrant was later served at Healey’s studio.

“While executing the search warrant on Rusty’s home, his wife was there and spoke with me. Rusty’s wife told me how glad she was that Rusty was caught,” the affidavit states. “I was informed that multiple women have complained to her about Rusty’s behavior during photo shoots. I was also told that Rusty had predatorized on” a specific woman.

Police contacted that woman who said when she was either 18 or 19, Healey offered her a free photo shoot. But during the shoot, “Rusty kept pushing her to take sexier photos and would manipulate her,” according to the affidavit. He also allegedly asked to photograph her naked.

The woman refused, but Healey inappropriately touched the woman during the photo shoot, according to police, who also say he told the womanthat she could not tell anyone about what happened because she had signed a contract.”

Police continued their investigation and interviewed other women who had photo shoots with Healey.

“I was advised that Rusty’s M.O. was to try to get sex from clients in exchange for their pictures,” the officer wrote in the affidavit.

One 16-year-old girl told police that “Rusty was very creepy and weird throughout the photo shoot. The girl explained that during the photo shoot Rusty was trying to push her to take sexy photos for her boyfriend but she refused and was very uncomfortable with him,” the affidavit states.

In 1994, Healey was convicted of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and unlawful sexual intercourse.

According to the police affidavit, “Rusty took photos of girls from 12-18 without parents’ permission, some of them naked. Rusty also had intercourse with the patrons. Rusty was registered as a sexual offender until 2007.”

Healey’s website markets his photography business as family-friendly, offering everything from family portraits to newborn photography.

Police say it’s possible that more people were victimized by Healey over the course of his photography career, and are asking anyone with information to contact the Weber County Sheriff’s Office.

Contributing: Pat Reavy