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Man who says he’s sexually attracted to children arrested in exploitation case, police say

FILE: The Salt Lake County Jail
Salt Lake County Jail
Jordan Allred, Deseret News

WEST VALLEY CITY — A man accused of soliciting nude pictures from at least one young girl in exchange for alcohol and other items has been arrested by West Valley police.

Jackson Daren Ballard, 23, of West Jordan, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Monday for investigation of engaging in a criminal conspiracy, five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, enticing a minor, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

In December, Ballard — using the name “Pedophile” — contacted a 13-year-old girl on Snapchat, according to a police affidavit. Police reviewed text messages and messages sent on Snapchat between the two and learned that Ballard had given vape pens and alcohol to the girl in exchange for nude images, the affidavit states.

On Jan. 6, police served a search warrant on Ballard’s home and questioned him.

“During the interview, Ballard admitted to being sexually attracted to children, specifically females around 12-13 years old. Ballard admitted to using a Snapchat account and the texting app TextNow solely for the purpose of contacting the victim to solicit nude images and videos,” according to the affidavit. “Ballard admitted that he has contacted other underage girls over the chat app Omegle and that the conversation would be sexual.”

Ballard also told police he contacted young girls with the hope of eventually having sex with them but claimed that never happened, the affidavit says.

During their conversations, the girl told police that Ballard was aware she was 13, and would “ask her for advice on how to further his relationship” with a relative who was the same age, according to a search warrant affidavit.