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A preliminary hearing has been set for a 21-year-old accused of sexually assaulting and providing controlled substances to teenagers.

Payden Hunter Hendershot appeared in 1st District Court on Monday via video conference call from the Cache County Jail. Defense attorney Joseph Saxton asked the court for a preliminary hearing in the case while acknowledging the possibility of new charges being filed against Hendershot.

Saxton told the court they would handle the new charges if they are filed, and the hearing to determine probable cause in the current case was set for April 5.

Hendershot faces two counts of first-degree object rape, two counts of first-degree forcible sodomy, one count of third-degree distribution of a controlled substance and a single misdemeanor for incidents alleged to have happened around June 1.

In 2020, an affidavit filed with the court states Cache County Sheriff’s deputies began investigating Hendershot in connection to multiple sexual assault allegations after a 17-year-old reported an incident and put a name to other potential victims.

Five additional people leveled allegations of sexual assault after being contacted by law enforcement, according to the affidavit, and other potential victims had yet to be contacted.

“Additional charges will be submitted to various other agencies and more charges screened with the prosecutor,” deputies wrote.

Hendershot told deputies two encounters with alleged victims were consensual, though deputies say Hendershot conceded he “could have read everyone wrong.” According to the affidavit, Hendershot said he couldn’t recall engaging in sexual activity with another victim and neither were in a position to consent due to what deputies described as an “extremely intoxicated state.” Deputies wrote Hendershot couldn’t recall certain specifics due to intoxication and controlled substance use.

Hendershot was arrested on Feb. 15 and charges were filed the following day. He is currently being held in jail without bail.

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