SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A Washington County man has been sentenced on Wednesday, Feb. 8, to five years in prison after admitting to grooming and sexually abusing a teen girl, according to the U.S. District Court of Utah.

James Steed Allred, 41, of Apple Valley pleaded guilty to transmitting compromising information about a minor through the internet. In April 2020, he reached out to a 14-year-old girl living in North Dakota using a fake Snapchat account. He then convinced the victim he was a teenage boy living in Washington County, Utah, with fake photos.

“Allred engaged in romantic communication and sent gifts to the victim in an attempt to engage in illegal sexual activity with the minor,” said representatives from the U.S. District Court of Utah.

In April 2021, the victim and her family moved to Colorado City, Ariz. Allred traveled there and engaged in illegal sexual activities with the victim several times while maintaining the lie that he was a teenage boy, the press release states.

Allred will be subjected to 15 years of supervised release following his prison term.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting minor victims from violent criminals who prey on their innocence via the internet,” said U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins for the District of Utah. “Thanks to our law enforcement partners we were able to investigate this case and seek justice for the victim as she continues to heal from the trauma inflicted by this crime.”

The F.B.I Salt Lake City Field Office investigated the case.