Vernal Man Being Held on No Bail After Over 23,000 Child Porn Files Found
By Kristin Forbis, Feb 25, 2020
A Vernal man has been arrested on charges related to child pornography following an investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. According to the Probable Cause Statement and Request for Arrest Warrant, 31-year-old Andrew Derek Walden was identified as the internet subscriber using a peer-to-peer network to share child pornography. On February 19th, a residential search warrant was executed at his Vernal residence and Walden was found to be the sole occupant of the apartment. “A search of the apartment revealed numerous posters on the walls depicting sexually explicit ‘anime’ featuring young children as well as magazines which also contained sexually explicit ‘anime’ featuring young children.” DVDs were also found featuring pornography with underage girls and computers and electronic devices were located with more than 23,000 pictures and videos of child pornography. The investigating officer requested the judge issue a No Bail Arrest Warrant for Walden, stating that his behavior poses a risk to the community and that Walden has a US passport, multiple foreign passports, and access to considerable monetary resources. Walden is charged in 8th District Court with 10 counts of 2nd Degree Felony Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. The Utah Attorney General issued a press release on Tuesday sharing that, while technically legal, the anime material concerns the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigators. “The content that’s specifically concerning to us is the child pornography anime,” said Alan White, ICAC Commander. “If a person is into child pornographic anime, it’s not a huge step to get into child pornography itself, or for that matter to abuse a child.” The Attorney General also shared that Walden is being held without bail in Uintah County as he is considered to be a substantial danger to the community and is likely to flee if released.