A Logan man who was sentenced in 2015 to a minimum of 15 years in prison for child sex abuse appealed his conviction to the Utah Court of Appeals and was granted a new trial, which started Monday in 1st District Court.
Brian K. Williams was first charged in 2014 with six counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child and six counts of forcible sex abuse after one of three juveniles disclosed the alleged abuse to a trusted adult.
One of those victims, now 21, testified in front of a jury for a second time on Monday, recounting the events she said took place over a period of several years and the reasons why she never told her mother about them.
“There was no reason why,” she said. “It was a secret — a really big secret.”
During the previous trial, all three of the alleged victims said Williams subjected them to numerous acts of sexual abuse, including nudity in a hot tub, shared showers and intimate body inspections over seven-year period. Williams has said the allegations against him are false.
A jury that heard the case in 2015 found Williams guilty, and as a result he was sent to prison. He remained there until last summer when a judge ordered his release while the new trial was pending.
The Utah Court of Appeals reversed Williams’ conviction in May last year, saying Cache County Prosecutor Barbara Lachmar improperly questioned jurors during jury selection in a manner that could be construed as an attempt to strengthen the victims’ testimony or guide a potential juror toward a particular thought process.
“Coupled with inconsistencies in the evidence, our confidence in the jury’s verdicts is undermined,” the appellate court’s opinion states.
Prosecutors Barbara Lachmar and Spencer Walsh will continue to present their evidence to a jury over the next three or four days, including testimony from the other two juveniles who say they were sexually abused by Williams.
A newly seated jury will likely bring a verdict to the court later this week.