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AG ends child porn investigation against former prosecutor who committed suicide

AG ends child porn investigation...

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) - A twenty-six letter password couldn't be cracked. 

That password belonged to Chad Platt, a former Salt Lake prosecutor.  He was the target of a child pornography investigation.

But three days after the state's Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) raided his home, Platt committed suicide.

Since the investigation began, the Platt family attempted to gain access to the files related to the case in an effort to clear his name.  News4Utah also filed GRAMA requests as well.  But the requests were denied because the investigation was "ongoing."

Thursday, an attorney representing the family was prepared to make an appeal before the state Records Committee to release those findings.

"This has gone on way too long," said attorney Paul Amann.  "The Platt family is really frustrated about how long this has taken. And it shouldn't take them pushing to this level to get a response from the Attorney General's Office."

The AG's government records attorney said the hangup had been Platt's iPad which couldn't be opened.  The iPad was actually owned by the Salt Lake District Attorney's office.  Attorney Lonny Pehrson said two laboratories failed to crack the 26-letter password.  As a result, they've closed the case.

"The office has completed its investigation and declined to take any further action in the matter," said Pehrson.

But Amann said they want to review the files released before ending their appeal before the committee. 

Afterward, the chief of the investigations division of the Attorney General's Office spoke for the first time about details of their investigation.

"The case is closed," said Leo Lucey who oversees the investigations division.  "I can't say he's been cleared but a lot of questions remain."

Lucey said the search warrant they obtained in 2016 was valid and there was evidence of child pornography coming from Platt's internet address located at his Sugarhouse home.

"The information came back to that residence where we executed the warrant," said Lucey.  "That contained graphic child pornography, images of child pornography.  So we know that there were children at risk."

But Platt was never arrested and three days later he never showed up for work.  He had jumped from a parking garage in downtown Salt Lake City.  At the time, his brother said he left a suicide note proclaiming his innocence.  But Platt said in his note the allegations would be difficult to overcome and affect his legal career.

Lucey said their case was solid up until Platt's iPad.

"It's not in dispute where it was coming from, the dispute who was there at the time," said Lucey.  "It's tragic and frustrating for everybody involved."

Platt's brother, Leonard Platt, sent this email in response to the AG's action.

"I have always known the AG’s office would never be able to produce any evidence that would justify destroying the reputation and career of a 17-year prosecutor, simply because I knew the kind of honesty and integrity my brother Chad Platt maintained in every aspect of his professional and personal life.  The AG’s office may as well have told me that their entire case hinged on nothing more than false assumptions and innuendo when they alleged that the only reason they could not justify destroying my brother’s life was because they didn’t bother to look under the seat of my brother’s vehicle and seize the smoking gun that they claimed would be found on Chad’s government issued iPad.  After giving the AG’s office two years to produce the evidence they claimed must have been concealed in plain view on a government-owned device, the AG’s office came up empty-handed.  After months of denying my requests for information relating to their investigation, they reluctantly waited until the last minute to reveal what we have known all along.  The entire fiasco was an exercise in futility based on an unfounded allegation allegedly obtained from a confidential informant.  (Translation: Chad’s ethics wouldn’t allow him to turn a blind eye to the corruption he witnessed and a political enemy, i.e. confidential informant who shall remain nameless, took it upon himself to destroy Chad’s reputation as a means of silencing Chad forever)  Apparently when the AG’s office was forced to search the government iPad, resulting in the revelation that no smoking gun ever existed, they were forced to produce NOTHING of any material relevance.   Rather than admit their poor investigative tactics and sub-standard forensics skills and help the family vindicate my brother’s memory, the AG’s office did everything they could to conceal from the family, and from the public, their complicity in this travesty of justice.  To add insult to injury the AG’s office alleged that the government issued iPad obviously contained the undiscovered digital contraband that would justify ICAC’s heavy-handed tactics; however, since they were unable to produce any contraband after two years of forensic analysis of all the data found on Chad’s computers when they executed the search warrant, the truth can no longer be concealed.  Innocent people can in fact be victimized by incompetent government employees who have lost sight of their real mission, i.e. to serve and protect the public, not their own self- interest."


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