LOGAN — A 25-year-old Smithfield man and former student-teacher has pleaded guilty to sharing child pornography over the internet. Kaden J. Strong accepted a plea deal and will now wait to be sentenced.
Strong appeared in 1st District Court Monday afternoon. He confessed to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.
As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped two remaining charges.
Strong was arrested in April after Logan City police officers received a cyber-tip. It explained how he had been using a popular messaging app to download and share illegal material. The files were of children between 11-17-years old. The preteens were all nude and engaging in sex acts.
Investigators tracked the child porn to an IP address in Smithfield where Strong lived. They served a warrant to the apartment and questioned Strong. He told officers police, it was a “stupid mistake on his part.”
Investigators report that the material Strong shared was not of local children.
During Monday’s hearing, Strong spoke briefly, explaining that he was willing to waive his right to a fair trial.
Judge Angela Fonnesbeck accepted Strong’s plea deal and ordered him to be sentenced Oct. 25.
Strong is currently out of jail. He could face up to 15-years in prison.
At the time of Strong’s arrest, Intech Collegiate Academy Principle Jason Stanger confirmed Strong was never employed by the school. He was a mathematics student-teacher, assisting full-time math teachers, and ended student teaching before his arrest was reported to the school.