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“American Idol” Nabbed for Kiddie Porn

Utah- A federal grand jury has indicted former “American Idol” contestant Daniel James “DJ” Boyd on child pornography charges, accusing him of videotaping sexual encounters with teenage girls.

The federal indictment was unsealed Tuesday against Boyd, 27, who was a semi-finalist on the popular TV show in 2004. He is charged with production of child pornography and possession of child pornography. The federal case stems from Boyd’s arrest in West Valley City last month. He is accused of having sex with two girls, ages 14 and 15. Some of those sexual encounters, prosecutors claim, were videotaped. West Valley City police said they were made aware of Boyd’s alleged sexual activities with minors when they were contacted in June by the 14-year-old girl. The federal indictment states that Boyd “engaged in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct.” The Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office has charged Boyd with 11 counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, a third-degree felony; two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony; and two counts of unlawful supply of alcohol to minors, a class A misdemeanor. He is scheduled to appear in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court on July 25 for a preliminary hearing on those charges. Prosecutors allege Boyd gave the girls alcohol before engaging in sex. Boyd, who remains in the Salt Lake County Jail since his arrest, appeared in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. A September 18 trial date was set. Boyd faces up to 40 years in federal prison if convicted. The production-of-pornography charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years. “As you can see from the potential penalty, this is something that we take extremely seriously,” said Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah Since losing on “American Idol,” Boyd has been pushing his new album of pop/hip-hop songs on his myspace.com page. The site said that Boyd graduated from the University of Utah and is “anticipating entering the field of ‘Entertainment Law.’ ” Since his arrest, fans have posted well-wishes on the Web site. On his blog, Boyd’s family wrote a message declaring there are “two sides to every story” and they solicit money for his legal defense. “Everybody thanks for all your support and prayers for DJ Boyd,” the statement said. “All funds donated to this account will be used strictly for DJ Boyd’s legal defense, expert witness, pretrial evaluation, and to cover any personal expenses, and cost while Dj will be incarcerated. Thank you again for all your support and love.”

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