SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – After a tip from Canadian law enforcement, a Utah man is now behind bars facing charges for child sex abuse.
Investigators believe John Anton Rouse, 63, has been living in Logan for the last eight months.
Utah law enforcement received an extradition warrant from Canadian authorities asking Rouse to be returned.
He’s accused of committing the acts against three young children, from the same family, there in Canada.
Court documents state Rouse sexually abused a little boy and his two older sisters.
The documents state Rouse and the childrens’ mother, whom he was in a relationship with, would have “family nights,” in which the two abused all three children at once, then they put the images online.
Matthew Harris, the United States Marshal for the District of Utah, has worked in law enforcement since the 1990s. He told ABC4 News that he’s never seen a case like this.
“I’m very rarely shocked when I read an arrest warrant. I’ve seen it all. But this was shocking,” admitted Harris.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for parents or loved ones to film a child and then distribute the video online to predators throughout the United States.
“You’re talking about thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of images of men having sex with sometimes toddlers, infants and sometimes prepubescent children,” said Harris.
“How could someone do this to an infant?” asked ABC4’s Brittany Johnson.
“I don’t know,” replied Harris. “It’s maddening.”
Harris says child pornography is a problem.
To put into perspective, in one week, from February 17-February 23, the National Center for Missing & Exploiting Children identified 74 child pornography cases, noted 1,062,665 images viewed or distributed as child pornography, and identified 17 new victims.
That same week, 246,649 cases were reported through its CyberTipline.
“These children are victims. Every time somebody views an image, that child becomes a victim again and again and again and they can’t stop it,” explained Harris.
Under a new federal law, victims have the ability to collect restitution.
It’s called the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act and it was sponsored by former Utah Senator Orrin Hatch.
Harris supports the act but admits there will never be enough restitution for victims.
“How do you give back the innocence to a child? How do you do it?” Harris asked rhetorically.
“I don’t know how you recover from that.”
What he does know is that future offenders will be caught.
“There’s people who are dedicated — woman and men who investigate these crimes — they are going to do everything they can to catch you,” warned Harris.