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Convicted rapist gets new prison sentence on child porn charges

Published April 2, 2014 8:26 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A convicted rapist is now headed for federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of possessing child pornography.

U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson ordered Shawn William Turley, 50, of West Valley City, to spend 15 years in the federal prison in Englewood, Colo. Once released, Turley will be supervised for the rest of his life. Among other conditions, Turley will be required to participate in sex-offender treatment upon his release and will be limited to supervised contact with individuals 18 or younger only with approval of his probation officer.

A 12-year-old girl disclosed last summer that Turley had been sexually abusing her for about a year. During a visit to his West Valley City home in July 2013, parole officers found a cell phone hidden under Turley's mattress that was later determined to contain more than 600 pornographic images of young girls.

In his plea agreement, Turley admitted he had abused the girl and also that he had downloaded the images from a peer-to-peer network.

The case was prosecuted as a part of Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice initiative targeting the proliferation of technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah is committed to the safety and well-being of every child and has placed a high priority on combating sexual exploitation of minors. We continue to coordinate with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to protect our children by investigating and aggressively prosecuting online sexual predators," U.S. Attorney David B. Barlow said in a statement.

In 1987, Turley raped one woman and attempted to rape another in Utah County, according to an Associated Press report. He subsequently pleaded no contest to attempted kidnapping and guilty to rape, forcible sodomy, attempted rape and aggravated sexual assault charges.

Turley received varying concurrent sentences on the charges, including two terms of five years to life for the rape and forcible sodomy.

He apparently was paroled in May 1996 and had been under supervision through July 2013, when the new allegations surfaced.