SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Everytime Jonathan Soberanis has been charged for sex crimes involving children a judge has ruled him not competent to stand trial.
Under Utah Law in order to determine if someone is competent the defendant must be capable of understanding basic court proceedings and working with an attorney to properly defend themselves.
During Soberanis’s competency hearing Dr. Brian Bitting and Dr. Lindsey North both testified, saying Soberanis was not competent to stand trial.
Throughout the proceedings the prosecution questioned both on how much a new federal case surrounding Soberanis played a role in his new competency evaluation. That case involves child pornography charges.
Investigator Sarah Lindquist testified before the court stating Soberanis used a New Zealand storage platform to download and share child pornography with end-to-end encryption. According to Lindquist, they found several files organized in separate folders, with one folder containing files of girls being abused.
“He specifically said he likes boys and not girls, but he will use the girl videos to share in order to exchange for boys,” said Lindquist.
However, the defense said setting up an account through this service is very similar to setting up a google account. Lindquist also confirmed the service automatically encrypts media once the user establishes an account.
Lundquist also testified she went undercover and posed as a customer at Soberanis’s work. Lundquist said he used a tablet to search prices for different items and was able to make change when she paid him with a 50 dollar bill.
However Dr. Bitting said a police report only shows part of the picture.
“Things that are outlined in a police report are not necessarily facts that I feel comfortable relying on,” said Bitting.