In February of 2023, a local law enforcement officer used an undercover online profile to begin contact with a user who, at the time, disclosed his age as 39. Residing in Helper, this user believed that he was conversing with a female that was 15 years old.
It was stated that the male did not take long to begin making sexual remarks to the alleged minor, even requesting topless photos. This individual also requested that the supposed minor meet him in person on several occasions to engage in sexual acts. It was reportedly made known by this user that he was enticing a minor, which is a felony offense.
Though the individual went by Alex online, through information that was slowly gathered, it was discovered that he was Michael James Kerr of Price. Kerr, who was already registered on the sex offender list for a previous conviction of rape of a child in 2009, was using an email address not listed on the sex offender registry.
Eventually, after months of investigation, the officer and supposed online minor requested that Kerr meet at a local, public area. At this point, the officer was being assisted by two other law enforcement officers, who began to follow Kerr when he attempted to flee.
When Kerr was apprehended, he was interviewed at the Carbon County Jail and allegedly denied the online interactions that were before him. However, there was sufficient evidence, such as traced IP addresses and information that was garnered from Kerr’s license. He was arrested on one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, as well as one count of enticing a minor, one count of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and two counts of sex offender registry violation, all third-degree felonies.
On Jan. 22, Kerr faced sentencing regarding this case. Charges against Kerr were failure to register as a sex offender (a third-degree felony), unlawful sexual activity with a minor (a class A misdemeanor) and enticing a minor, which is a third-degree felony sexual activity.
Based on the conviction of failure to register as a sex offender, the defendant was sentenced to an indeterminate term not to exceed five years in the Utah State Prison. Additionally, based on the conviction against Kerr of enticing a minor in sexual activity, he was sentenced to an indeterminate term not to exceed one year in the prison, with credit for one day.
The charges are to run concurrently and Kerr was remanded to the custody of the Carbon County Sheriff for transportation to the Utah State Prison.