Salt Lake sex offender charged with human trafficking faces new charges

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TOOELE — A registered sex offender currently facing a charge of child human trafficking now faces criminal charges in yet another case.

Craig Thomas Defa, 27, of Salt Lake City, was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with enticing a minor, a second-degree felony.

On Jan. 6, a Tooele police officer working with the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force was posing as a 13-year-old girl online when Defa contacted him, according to charging documents, and offered the “girl” $100 to perform a sex act.

When the undercover officer stated “she” was only 13, Defa responded, “Ooof, that’s risky,” according to the charges, while then adding, “I’m game if you are” and “Just lie to me and say u 18.”

Defa asked to meet with the girl the next night, but stated he was nervous “that it seemed a little too good to be true” and then sent a message stating, “What if you a cop or sum?” the charges state.

Defa agreed to meet the girl in a fast-food parking lot in Salt Lake County. A team of FBI agents were in the area in unmarked cars, according to a police affidavit, and took him into custody after he arrived.

Defa became a registered sex offender in Utah when he pleaded guilty in November 2019 to four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and unlawful conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, in exchange for 11 other counts of sexual exploitation of a minor being dismissed. He was given a suspended prison sentence and placed on probation.

Less than a year later, in August, Defa was charged in 3rd District Court with human trafficking, a first-degree felony, and six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. His next court hearing in that case is scheduled for Jan. 26.

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Defa was free on bail at the time of his latest arrest, and police say when he showed up to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl, he was wearing a GPS ankle monitor.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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