Utah couple indicted in FBI child pornography case

St. George News stock image | Photo courtesy of the FBI, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment in March charging an Ogden couple in connection with a child pornography case investigated by the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. A four-day jury trial in U.S. District Court is set to begin in May.

Jason David Lott, 32, a registered sex offender, is facing charges of distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography and possession of a firearm and ammunition following a felony conviction. Lott’s wife, Camila Mae Bergeson, 22, is charged with possession of child pornography.

Lott is a registered sex offender as the result of a 2009 Utah conviction for sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to a complaint filed in the case, an FBI special agent was conducting an online investigation on the BitTorrent network to identify people who were sharing child pornography.

On several occasions, the agent successfully completed several downloads made available from a device at a specific IP address, the complaint alleges.

“The downloaded files included sexually explicit images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of infants, toddlers and prepubescent children,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Further investigation of the IP address led the FBI task force to Lott and Bergeson’s residence in Ogden.”

Agents executed a federal search warrant at the couple’s residence on March 16, at which time an H & R 12-gauge shotgun and associated ammunition were found and several devices were seized, including a laptop computer.

During a preliminary search of the computer, agents located the Bit-Torrent program “Vuze,” along with evidence indicative of someone using a peer-to-peer program to obtain files of child pornography, according to the complaint.

The couple was taken into custody and questioned.

“Lott admitted to having the Bit-Torrent program on his computer and having knowledge that one could obtain images of child pornography,” prosecutors said. “He also admitted to using a program to wipe his computer once a week.”

Bergeson allegedly admitted to looking at videos and images of child pornography on the computer with her husband.

“She admitted they have looked at child pornography for the last six months approximately every other week,” according to the Attorney’s Office. “They erased the child pornography after looking at it.”

Lott faces a potential mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, with a maximum 40-year sentence if convicted of distribution of child pornography. Additionally, because of his criminal history, Lott faces a potential 10-year mandatory minimum for the possession of child pornography count. Possessing a firearm following a felony conviction carries a potential 10-year sentence.

Bergeson faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the possession of child pornography count.

The Ogden couple appeared March 23 for arraignment on the charges in U.S. District Court where both entered not guilty pleas to the charges.

A four-day jury trial is set for May 22 before U.S. District Judge Jill N. Parrish.

While Lott remains in police custody, Bergeson was released pending trial subject to standard and special conditions of supervised release, including a requirement that she get a full-time job.

Indictments are not findings of guilt. Individuals charged in an indictment are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.

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