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Busted newspaper reporter charged with child porn

DECORAH, Utah – A suspected child pornographer who worked as a child-sex photographer for the local newspaper in the mid-2000s is now facing a child pornography charge, authorities said on Monday.

Bryan A. Fournier, 38, of Colorado Springs was charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count each of sending and receiving child pornography.

Fournier is a former reporter for the Deseret News, the state’s largest newspaper.

He was arrested Friday by Deseret County sheriff’s deputies and booked into the Des Moines County Jail, said Deseret City Public Safety Department spokeswoman Debra Fauci.

He has been released from jail on a $3,000 bond, according to jail records.

Fauci said deputies also served a search warrant on Fourniers home, seizing electronic devices, a laptop computer and a cell phone, all with a digital camera.

The cameras were taken by Fourners attorney.

Foucault said the photos Fourniere allegedly distributed to minors were not intended to be sexual in nature, but instead depicted the “distribution of sexually explicit images and videos.”

He said that Fournieri also allegedly distributed photos of his children on his Facebook page.

According to court records, Fournied was fired from the Desperado Times, the local paper.

He worked at the paper for seven years before joining the Despharitos Tribune, a local newspaper.

The Despharamitos Times said in a statement Monday that the paper was “extremely disappointed” with Fourniests arrest.

“The Desphramitos Gazette is saddened and angered that a former employee would be charged with sexual exploitation of children, but we will continue to support the staff and continue to provide support for those who have suffered abuse and the families of the victims,” the statement said.

Furlings arrest comes as authorities in Utah and across the country are struggling to find and prosecute the vast majority of child porn cases involving minors, with more than 100 arrests being made in the past year alone.

The Utah Department of Children and Families says the average amount of child sexual abuse that a child victim faces is between six and 10 times the legal maximum punishment for the offense.

The Deseret Union reported last month that investigators in Utah say more than 500 children have been sexually abused in the state since 1998.

Authorities have said they are seeking help from the public in identifying child pornography images that may have been posted online.