SANDY MAN CHARGED WITH ENTICING MINOR WITH SEPARATE SEX ABUSE CASE PENDING
May 22, 2020
SALT LAKE CITY — A Sandy man already charged in one case with sexually abusing a minor now faces new charges after prosecutors say his lewd behavior continued in another city.
Austin Eric Bashford, 20, was charged Thursday in Cache County’s 1st District Court with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony; dealing in harmful materials to a minor and 10 counts of enticing a minor, third-degree felonies.
Bashford met a 16-year-old girl on the website Omingle, according to the new charging documents.
“There were several text messages after that with Austin initiating contact with (the girl) and soliciting or enticing (her) to engage in sexual activity by stripping,” the charges state.
Since March, police say Bashford had been contacting the girl via FaceTime and encouraging her to take off her clothes.
“On (the girl’s) cellphone, there were 15 FaceTime video calls on different dates with text messages leading up to the video calls with Austin asking to watch (her) strip,” according to the charges.
The activity was discovered when the girl’s mother saw Bashford in one of the FaceTime videos without his pants on, the charges state.
In his other case, Bashford, then 19, is accused of engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl in West Valley City.
“Austin’s behavior shows he continues to violate the same state statutes with a pending case for similar violations,” police noted in new charging documents.
While interviewing Bashford, he also admitted to “going on a date” with another 15-year-old girl from another Utah city, the charges state. Investigators stated in charging documents that girl’s last name was not known as of Thursday.
In October, Bashford was charged in 3rd District Court with sex abuse of a minor, a class A misdemeanor.
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