A man charged with multiple felony counts of sexually abusing a child was bound over for trial during a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
Judge Angela Fonnesbeck found there was probable cause for one count of first-degree sodomy on a child and four counts of first-degree aggravated sexual abuse of a child leveled against Alejandro Gutierrez, 47. A single count of first-degree aggravated sexual abuse of a child was dismissed.
During the hearing, the court heard testimony from the alleged victim and two witnesses. The alleged victim told the court of multiple instances of inappropriate touching by Gutierrez, with the latest incident happening in 2011.
After the final incident of alleged abuse, the victim told the court police were notified and Gutierrez fled, presumably, to Mexico. She told the court this was the first time she had seen Gutierrez since 2011.
Cache County prosecutor Spencer Walsh presented to the court an 18-page transcription of a confrontational phone call from November 2012 between Gutierrez and another party. Walsh argued there were several incriminating statements made by Gutierrez in the document.
Defense attorney Shannon Demler argued for three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child to be dismissed as the first four counts filed in the case happened during the same criminal episode.
Fonnesbeck acknowledged the burden of proof at the preliminary hearing is lower than at trial and favors the prosecution. Fonnesbeck said that in a case such as this, multiple charges could occur from a single criminal episode.
Charges were initially filed against Gutierrez in 2011 and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was arrested nearly a decade later and was booked to the Cache County Jail in March, where he is currently being held without bail.
Gutierrez was set to appear for further arraignment on Sept. 28.