Former Utah professor, police officer arrested in child pornography investigation

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AMERICAN FORK — A former criminal justice professor in Utah and longtime police officer was arrested Thursday and accused of possessing child pornography, including images police say he recorded himself.

Daniel Waddington, 68, was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

On July 11, American Fork police were notified that Waddington had tried to video record a 13-year-old girl taking a shower, according to a police booking affidavit. The girl saw his phone and reported the incident to an adult.

The next day, Waddington approached the girl and said “he was simply trying to get an audio recording of her singing in the shower,” the affidavit states.

The person who reported Waddington to police looked at Waddington’s laptop and found suspected child pornography, according to police.

“The complainant reported he confronted Waddington with these images and videos to which Waddington admitted he had a ‘problem’ with this, referring to what the complainant called child pornography,” the affidavit alleges.

That person then seized Waddington’s phone and laptop and took them to police. Detectives searched both items.

“As a result of this, investigators recovered at least 300 images and/or videos of what appear to contain child abuse sexual material in that many of the images involve what appeared to be prepubescent children,” according to the arrest report.

Police also reported finding what appeared to be the video of a girl in a bathroom that Waddington recorded.

Investigators noted that Waddington was an adjunct professor at Utah Valley University for six years, working in the Department of Criminology. One of the photos recovered by detectives “appears to be a classroom at this university. The photo is shooting up a female’s dress/skirt,” according to the affidavit.

Another picture recovered by police appears to be of a young girl taken recently at an undisclosed swimming pool, police said.

Investigators worked with Waddington and his attorney to arrange for him to surrender to authorities on Thursday.

Waddington was an officer for the Long Beach Police Department in California for more than 25 years and has “extensive graduate education in criminal justice-related fields” as well as “over 40 years of domestic and international criminal justice experience,” the affidavit says.

Waddington also claimed he worked with the U.S. Department of State until recently. He is also on the board of directors for Second Chance 4 Youth, “a program to provide opportunities and positive trajectories for at-risk youth and those in the juvenile justice system,” police noted.

“His LinkedIn biography indicates he has engaged in extensive law enforcement training, consulting, and training in at least eight other countries across Europe, South Africa, Asia, and Africa. Based on his international contacts and travel experience, it would be easier for him than a reasonable person to flee outside of the United States to numerous different locations,” police noted in the arrest report while requesting he be held in the Utah County Jail without bail.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.

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