LOGAN — A 19-year-old Logan man has been spared prison after a judge agreed with the defendant’s attorney, who said prison was the wrong type punishment. Jaxon C. Harrop was ordered instead to serve 250 days in jail along with other restrictions.
Harrop was sentenced during a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday afternoon, appearing by web conference. He previously pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.
In November 2020, Logan City police officers received a CyberTip that Harrop was exchanging child pornography through a social media app. The tip, forwarded from the Utah Attorney General’s Office, included multiple pictures and videos of kids ranging from newborns to 13-years-old. The material depicted the female babies and children in various stages of undress, being raped by adult men.
The social media account was accessed at several Cache County locations. The IP addresses were tracked to Harrop’s home in Logan, along with a home in Smithfield, where a friend of Harrop lived.
In January 2021, officers served a warrant to Harrop after conducting surveillance on his Logan residence for several days. They seized a cell phone, game consoles and memory storage devices. A forensic download later found 20 images and videos of child pornography.
During Monday’s sentencing, public defender Mike McGinnis said Harrop needed a lot of help but prison wouldn’t be good for him. He explained how his client was currently receiving treatment for a sexual addiction.
Harrop said he knew what he had done was wrong and that it continued to victimize the children who were sexual abused. He admitted to having a problem and needing help.
Judge Angela Fonnesbeck noted how a presentence report recommended that Harrop be sentenced to prison. She refused to follow the recommendation though, due to the defendant’s young age.
Harrop was ordered to report to the Cache County Jail by 4 p.m. Tuesday to begin his sentence. He was also prohibited from having unsupervised access to the internet or minor children.