On Wednesday, October 16th, 61 year old Timothy James Hallows was arrested and charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second degree felony. Each of the charges carry the potential of up to 15 years in prison. In his initial court appearance on Thursday, he was ordered to be held without bail.
In August, Microsoft, owner of Skype, sent a tip into the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about “child sexual exploitation material” being distributed on their platform under the username "timhallows".
Officers served an internet service provider with a search warrant to reveal the IP address associated with the reported account which traced back to the Kaysville residence of Hallows.
On October 3rd, investigators discovered that there were three additional complaints concerning the same user and files depicting “child sexual abuse.”
Officers served a search warrant to his residence on Wednesday the 16th, where they report that he admitted to distributing child pornography and admitted to owning more than 100 images. Investigators indicate that they located thousands of images at his home.
Hallows waived his Miranda right pertaining to self incrimination and willingly spoke to investigators.
It is reported that when investigators told Hallows that they believed he had engaged in sexual contact with children, “he stated, ‘Uh huh’, and shook his head in affirmation,” according to the affidavit.
"Hallows stated the children are not real, and provided several incidents of justification or rationalization for the conduct," according to the probable cause statement.
“Hallows refused to take a polygraph examination with questions regarding hands-on sexual contact with young children," according to the affidavit. "He further stated that he has done nothing regarding sexual contact with children long term.” Hallows is said to have gone on to explain that images he took while serving as Bishop for the Mormon church on camping trips could lead to a failed polygraph.
A church spokesman issued the following statement:
"The allegations against this individual are serious and deeply troubling. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no tolerance for abuse of any kind, including child pornography, and teaches its members and leaders that such behavior is offensive to God and to His Church. When local leaders learned of these allegations, this individual was immediately removed from any position that would place him in close contact with youth or children. This is done to ensure the safety of others and to allow this individual to address these serious allegations."
Captain Taylor West of the Davis County Sheriff's Office said the investigation is ongoing in attempts to identify the victims, and is encouraging anyone with information, or those that may have been victims, to make contact with law enforcement.
"We encourage any victim to come forward and talk to authorities, go to a person in law enforcement or a trusted person in your family or community—an adult that you trust if you’re an underaged person—and please come talk with us," West said. "We’d like to hear from you, regarding this case or any other case." The Davis County Sheriff's Office can be reached at (801) 451-4100.
Hallows' initial court appearance is said to be scheduled for Wednesday, October 22nd in Farmington, Utah.