LAKE CITY CITY – A man suspected of posing up as a teenager on social media to collect photos of teens is now facing federal charges.
Russell Dean Petersen, 42, of Stansbury Park, was charged by the federal government on July 10 with five counts including the production, possession, acceptance, and distribution of child pornography and the attraction of minors.
He appeared for the first time in federal court on July 15 and the jury trial was scheduled for September 17. But on Tuesday, Petersen’s lawyers requested that the trial be postponed 90 days later as they continued to review the evidence in the case, according to court documents. New test date is scheduled for November 26th.
Petersen was sentenced “arrested” or detained until the case was resolved.
The case was investigated by the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office but was subsequently reviewed with the federal authorities for what had been found.
According to the three search warrants filed by the sheriff’s office at the 3rd district court, the investigation began in January when Petersen’s separated wife learned that he could “take pictures and have sex with young girls.” online”.
“The reporter suggested that when he saw Russell’s Snapchat account, he saw pictures of naked girls and videos of Russell (genitals),” said an order.
When he read something about Snapchat, he discovered that he was “disguised as a 15-year-old boy” and engaged in sexual conversations with girls who would be between 13 and 15 years old, according to the order.
Other images found in Petersen’s Snapchat account implicate what the detectives described as “unconditional child pornography” involving children between the ages of 6 and 15, depending on the orders. Petersen sent images to another Snapchat account and at least one person known as “Lord Raven” sent the images to Petersen’s account, pursuant to a court order. Some of Snapchat’s conversations date back to 2018.
Petersen’s divorce was resolved in April, according to court records.
If found guilty, Petersen incurs a minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment in federal prison and may be sentenced to life imprisonment.