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Former Salt Lake City school board member faces 15 years in federal prison for producing child porn

Joél-Léhi Organista must be released under supervision after serving 15 years in prison.

(Photo courtesy Salt Lake City School District) A US District Court judge on Wednesday sentenced Joél-Léhi Organista to 15 years in federal prison after the former Salt Lake City school board member pleaded guilty to the manufacture and distribution of child pornography.

A US District Court judge on Wednesday sentenced Joél-Léhi Organista to 15 years in federal prison after the former Salt Lake City school board member pleaded guilty in January to federal charges of manufacturing and distributing child pornography.

The 30-year-old organista, who retired from the school board in 2021, will also have to register as a sex offender after his incarceration and be released under supervision for 15 years.

As a special condition of his supervised release, Organista must not have contact with anyone under the age of 18 without adult supervision. In addition, all his devices with Internet access are randomly checked and searched, and monitoring software is installed at his expense. He needs to complete the treatment of a sex offender.

Organista also pleaded guilty to two state-level charges in November: a first-degree felony for aggravated sexual abuse of a child and a second-degree felony for luring a minor via internet or text. Nine other charges, including object rape of a child, were dropped.

Organista was sentenced to no less than 15 years in prison at the state trial in January. The court ordered his federal prison sentence to be handed down concurrently with his state sentence, which resulted from the same investigation.

First elected to the school board in Fall 2020, Organista previously volunteered at the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center. The interactions with minors and downloads took place between January 2021 – when Organista took over his post on the school board – and June 2021, according to court documents.

He was arrested after officers received a tip that he had downloaded and saved files containing child pornography to a Dropbox account.

According to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office in Utah in January, officers searching his computer reported finding up to 150 images and videos of exploited minors.

Police also said that while searching Organista’s other devices, including his phone, they discovered a Snapchat account where Organista had communicated directly with children who identified themselves as between the ages of 12 and 17.

Organista reportedly asked for nude photos and “directly[ed] the children to sexual acts.” Investigators say Organista recorded some of these interactions with a boy under the age of 14.

District spokesman Yándary Chatwin previously said “as far as we know” that none of the children depicted in the pictures were students from the Salt Lake City School District.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2022/06/15/ex-salt-lake-city-school/ Former Salt Lake City school board member faces 15 years in federal prison for producing child porn

Joel McCord

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