An elderly man who was facing as much as 40 years to life in the Utah State Prison for the alleged sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14 has been found incompetent to stand trial.
Roger A. Willeto, 74, was charged in March in Logan’s 1st District Court with aggravated sexual abuse of a child and rape of a child, both first-degree felony offenses.
The sexual abuse allegedly occurred in January 2012, just four years after he was convicted in a 2008 case and a matter of weeks after Adult Parole and Probation terminated his probation in that case.
Willeto’s first conviction came in Sept. 2008 when he pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual abuse of a child. His competency was called into question at the time of sentencing, but a formal ruling was not made at that time.
According to court records from April 2009 — more than a year after he was taken into custody — Willeto was sentenced to 1-15 years in prison, which was suspended on the condition that he successfully complete probation.
Some of the terms of his probation were to spend one year in the Cache County Jail, to complete sex offender treatment and to abide by Group A sex offender requirements.
Willeto was released from jail in October 2009, and probation was terminated in October 2011. The new allegations reportedly occurred two months later, although it was not reported to police until 2018.
During court proceedings on Wednesday, Judge Kevin Allen entered a finding that Willeto is not competent for trial, based on two independent evaluations.
The Cache County Attorney’s Office has filed an order requiring Willeto to report to Bear River Mental Health, where he will undergo an evaluation for civil commitment.