SALT LAKE CITY – Timothy James Hallows, age 62, of Kaysville, pleaded not guilty to possession of child pornography during an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City Friday.
The charges, filed May 8, 2020, allege Hallows possessed material containing an image of child pornography involving a minor who had not attained 12 years of age. A change of plea hearing has been scheduled for June 30, 2020, at 3 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dustin B. Pead. Hallows is in federal custody.
Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Davis County Attorney’s Office have worked together to determine the best venue to prosecute the case. Those discussions resulted in the filing of the Felony Information last week. This coordination happens regularly in child exploitation cases because of the significant penalties available in the federal system. Law enforcement officers working these cases are often members of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which allows them to work seamlessly with prosecutors in either venue.
“These are cases that motivate all prosecutors because they involve the victimization and exploitation of children,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said today. “My office regularly partners with the Office of the Davis County Attorney on child exploitation cases such as this one, as we do with other county attorney offices throughout the state. Together, we seek the best court system to achieve justice for child victims and their families.”
“State court prosecutors and law enforcement officers are experienced and accomplished in developing cases. Unfortunately, and all too often, inadequate state court sentences fail to deliver measured justice that matches the seriousness of the offenses. Federal court convictions can typically bring more appropriate sentences for those who would collect images of sexual violence against children. In this case, state and federal law enforcement partners jointly determined that federal court offered a more appropriate venue for prosecution,” Huber said.
Federal judges consider a number of factors when imposing a sentence for possession of child pornography. They include the number of images, use of a computer, distribution of the images, the defendant’s abuse of a position of trust to conceal the offense, the ages of the children in the images, the defendant’s criminal history, the nature and circumstances of the offense, and the characteristics of the defendant. Multiple counts do not change the sentence because the court is aware of each image possessed by the defendant regardless of how many counts are charged.
As a part of sentencing in a case, prosecutors will ask the judge to impose a term of supervised release for the defendant following the completion of their sentence. In child exploitation cases, it can be up to life with a minimum of five years. (There is no parole in federal court cases.)
A Felony Information is not a finding of guilt. A defendant charged in a Felony Complaint is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.