was an LDS bishopric counselor and returned missionary in Arizona; in 2021, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and was sentenced to seven years in prison

Case Summary

In 2021, Anthon Ellsworth was sentenced to seven years in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor.

Ellsworth had recently been called a a counselor in the ward bishopric at the time of his arrest in late 2020.

Three Arizona court records pertain to Ellsworth’s FLOODLIT file.

from Gila Valley Central:

“THATCHER — A Thatcher man is facing a number of charges stemming from allegations he took nude photos and videos of his teenage daughter.

Anthon Taylor Ellsworth is facing 11 charges, including three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor by selling visuals, three counts of surreptitious viewing without consent, three counts of voyeurism and two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor by selling visuals.
Back in February, Thatcher Police were notified of the allegations by Child Protective Services. Police interviewed the suspect’s wife, who said she found nude photos and videos of her daughter in the family’s cloud-based Amazon account.

She said she confronted her husband, and told investigators he reportedly admitted to her that he had taken images “four to five times over the past several months.”

She said she asked him to leave their home and suggested he speak with their bishop.

Investigators also spoke to the victim, who said she had found her father in her room attempting to place a camera, as well as finding other hidden cameras and phones in her room that were recording video of her, including video of her disrobing. In each instance she said she deleted the videos and gave the recording devices back to her father.

On advice from his attorney, Ellsworth declined to speak with investigators.

During searches of the home, the hotel room where Ellsworth was staying and his place of work, police seized a number of electronic devices that were sent to the Arizona Department of Public Safety lab in Tucson for forensic analysis.

That analysis turned up nude photos of a female that the victim’s wife was able to identify as her daughter.

A warrant for Ellsworth’s arrest was issued last week. He was charged, taken into custody and bond was set at $100,000.”

from EA Courier:

“A 38-year-old Thatcher man was arrested recently on numerous sexual exploitation charges six months after his wife told police she found a pornographic video on the family Amazon iCloud account starring a 15-year-old girl.

According to a Thatcher Police Department report dated Aug. 19, Chief Shaffen Woods became aware of an Arizona Department of Child Safety investigation involving a Thatcher man in February and directed his officers to launch their own investigation.

The woman told officers she had discovered pornographic photos and a video of the girl on the family’s Amazon iCloud account. Although she could only see the shoes of the videographer, she told officers she recognized the shoes as her husband’s.

She further told officers that when she confronted her husband, he admitted to being obsessed with the girl before leaving the home for a hotel, according to the report.

The teenager in the photos and video told detectives she was unaware she was being filmed, the report stated.

The woman said she’d deleted the video and detectives obtained search warrants for the couple’s home, electronics and the husband’s motel room.

Amazon provided jump drives to the officers, but no pornographic video or photos could be found.

While serving the search warrant at the motel, detectives seized a computer, two phones, and other electronics.

The man was arrested last week after a forensic lab in Tucson informed Thatcher police they’d found a nude photo of a minor and the woman confirmed she’d seen it on the iCloud account.”

According to a source familiar with the criminal court case against Ellsworth, the victim became aware of most of his invasive recordings and photos of her before he was arrested. This contradicts the reporting in the EA Courier.

  1. Thatcher man charged with taking nude photos of his daughter - Gila Valley Central - 2020-08-27
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  2. Thatcher man facing sexual exploitation charges - Eastern Arizona Courier - 2020-08-28
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  3. uncle of the accused - Rowan Joseph Ellsworth - FLOODLIT
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  4. source 4
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Sources excerpts

Mormon Sexual Abuse Map

International map of locations where active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perpetrated or allegedly perpetrated sexual abuse or other sex crimes, or where LDS leaders failed or allegedly failed to help abuse survivors.