KAYSVILLE, Utah (ABC4) – A Kaysville firefighter was arrested at the fire station on charges related to child pornography on Tuesday, Jan. 10, according to the Kaysville Fire Department.
Andrew Austin Leonard, 29, was booked by the Weber County Sherriff’s Office on charges of enticing a minor and dealing in materials harmful to minors, both third-degree felonies.
As a result of the allegations, Kaysville Fire Department said it had terminated Leonard’s employment with the city. Leonard was not named by Kaysville Fire in their statement.
According to a booking affidavit, Leonard allegedly began a conversation with a Roy City police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl on social media on Jan. 7. The conversations reportedly became sexual in nature with Leonard allegedly sending pictures of himself shirtless.
During the conversation, Leonard allegedly asked the girl to send explicit photos. The booking affidavit said Leonard encouraged the girl by saying she was very brave, despite at one point declining photos saying he would go to jail due to her age.
Through an investigation of the photos allegedly sent by Leonard, the Roy City officer was able to determine where Leonard worked and believed the photos were taken at the fire station.
On Tuesday, the officer approached Leonard at the fire station where he reportedly admitted to using an app to speak to a young teenage girl and “speaking inappropriately to her,” according to the affidavit. Leonard also allegedly admitted to having sent images to the girl and having asked for explicit photos in return while at the fire station.
“Any allegation of a crime against children must be taken seriously. Such allegations are extremely rare, and when one occurs, we take immediate action,” said Kaysville Fire in its statement.
Kaysville Fire said as a city, employees receive regular training about recognizing and preventing sexual harassment. The department said counseling and support services were available for staff members, should they need them, and their thoughts and prayers go out to anyone victimized by “this senseless atrocity.”