Evanston man sent to prison for child porn


EVANSTON — A 51-year-old Evanston man has been sentenced to five to eight years in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor. Jesse E. Bott was sentenced in Third District Court on Friday, Aug. 7, following a plea agreement reached with the Uinta County Attorney’s office.

Bott was initially arrested and charged in February after Facebook messenger provided a cybertip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding potential child pornography sent to his account. Following an investigation by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, Bott was charged with six counts of enticing a child to make pornography, six counts of possessing child pornography and one count of fourth-degree sexual abuse of a minor, which carried a total potential penalty of up to 137 years in prison.

Bott, who had known the victim since her pre-teen years, reportedly began making comments about her appearance as she matured and admitted in court that he had repeatedly asked for and pressured her to send sexually explicit photos and videos via Facebook and SnapChat when she was 16 years old.

Uinta County Attorney Loretta Howieson-Kallas said in court that Bott had exploited the trust of a young girl he had mentored for years and that the victim looked up to, trusted and cared about him. Howieson-Kallas said the case is a classic example of the type of exploitation and trafficking of children that is increasing everywhere and said adults bear the responsibility of having appropriate boundaries with children, including teenagers.

Howieson-Kallas also spoke to the plea agreement and the five- to eight-year sentence, noting both the victim and her mother were disappointed it wasn’t longer. She said, as is frequently the case with sexual exploitation and assault charges with minors, that securing the conviction and doing so without subjecting a child to the additional trauma of testifying in court is of paramount importance.

Prior to Third District Court Judge Joseph Bluemel accepting the plea agreement, Bott spoke and said, “This is something that isn’t me and has never been me,” adding that he didn’t know why he committed the crime. He apologized to the victim, her family and his own family and said he hopes the victim can heal and move on with her life. He also said he would like to get therapy while in prison to attempt to figure out why he had behaved as he did.

“I don’t know why, but something isn’t right,” he said.

Bluemel did choose to accept the plea agreement, despite his own reservations about whether the sentence was sufficient, echoing Howieson-Kallas is pointing out how difficult and traumatic it can be for victims to have to testify in court. He, too, pointed out that due to the agreement a conviction is secured, Bott will have to serve a prison sentence and will have to register as a sex offender. Bluemel said he would recommend Bott receive consideration for a treatment program while incarcerated.

Bott ultimately pleaded guilty to three counts of enticing a child to make pornography and four counts of possessing child pornography, receiving a sentence of five to eight years for each count, with those sentences to run concurrently. The other five counts of sexual exploitation of children and one count of fourth-degree sexual abuse of a minor were dismissed. He was also ordered to pay more than $2,000 in victim restitution, $500 in legal representation costs to public defender Dean Stout and another $1,400 in assorted court fees. Bott was remanded into the custody of the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office to await transfer to the Wyoming State Penitentiary.

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