Booking photo for Austin E. Bashford (Courtesy: Cache County Jail)

LOGAN — A 22-year-old Sandy man is headed to jail for sexting with a teenage girl in Cache Valley a year-and-a-half ago. Austin E. Bashford was ordered to report to the Cache County Jail by Friday after his attorney asked that he be spared anymore incarceration.

Bashford was sentenced during a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday morning, appearing by web conference with his attorney. He previously pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, both third-degree felonies, and dealing in material harmful to a minor, a class A misdemeanor.

In 2020, Cache County sheriff’s deputies received a complaint from the victim’s parents after they caught their 16-year-old daughter sexting with Bashford. The two had been communicating via FaceTime since March.

The girl said Bashford would ask her to strip for him during their video calls. He would also expose himself to her.

Bashford spoke to investigators over the phone and reportedly admitted to the allegations. He said that he had met the girl on a website, designed to allow users to chat with strangers.

Bashford also admitted to exposing himself to the alleged victim during the FaceTime chats and viewing inappropriate pictures and videos of her.

During Monday’s sentencing, defense attorney Jonathan Paz said Bashford served 79 days in jail already and shouldn’t do any more time. He explained how his client had kept a full-time job and attended therapy since being arrested.

Bashford refused to speak to the court but agreed with what his attorney had said.

Judge Brandon Maynard refused Paz’s request. He ordered Bashford to serve 120 days in jail, giving credit though for the 79 days previously served. He also ordered the defendant to pay a $500 fine, complete a behavioral course and therapy, and have no contact with the victim.

Bashford will be placed on the sex-offender registry and probation following release.

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