Booking photo for Zachary P. Stocker (Courtesy: Cache County Jail)
LOGAN — A 30-year-old Logan man has pleaded guilty to downloading child pornography more than three years ago. Zachary P. Stocker accepted a plea deal, confessing to half of the charges he originally faced.
According to court records, Stocker participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court last week, appearing by web conference with his attorney. He pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a child, a second-degree felony.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors decided to drop 10 similar charges against the defendant.
In February 2019, agents with the Internet Crimes Against Children’s Task Force (ICAC) began investigating Stocker after they traced images of child pornography to his Island neighborhood apartment. A search warrant was served to his residence, where several electronic devices were seized.
Stocker was arrested and booked into the Cache County Jail. He was later released after posting $70,000 bail.
A year later, Stocker waived his right to a preliminary hearing, where a judge would have determined whether prosecutors had sufficient evidence to bind the defendant over for trial.
Defense attorney Ray Malouf has claimed his client reportedly suffers from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which may have been a cause for the criminal behavior. Stocker has also been receiving sex-addiction counselling while out of jail on bail.
Stocker will be sentenced Nov. 17, where he could face up to 15-years in prison. He remains on pretrial release, and is prohibited from having access to the internet or interactions with anyone under the age of 18.