Caden Rodney Peterson, 28, is set to appear for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 13.
Peterson faces charges of first-degree aggravated kidnapping, second-degree aggravated assault and third-degree domestic violence in the presence of a child.
During Peterson’s 1st District Court appearance on Tuesday, defense attorney Joseph Saxton told the court he would also be arguing to modify Peterson’s bail status since the alleged victim recanted a “significant” portion of her statements to law enforcement.
In a statement to The Herald Journal, Saxton said the alleged victim wrote a letter to defense counsel recanting initial statements of being kidnapped and zip-tied and explaining the issue had “spun out of control.” Saxton said the new evidence seems to be partially corroborated by a 911 call related to the incident.
According to Saxton, the letter from the alleged victim gives reasonable doubt to the initial narrative of the case.
“At the very least, this letter and the new information it contains brings to light important details that need to be considered and investigated,” Saxton said.
According to documents filed with the court, North Park Police officers alleged Peterson had strangled a woman with a zip tie till she lost consciousness. It was also alleged Peterson affixed the woman to furniture with zip ties and punched her body and face.
Bryan P. Ash, 56, was denied bail during his hearing on Tuesday.
According to a motion to modify bail filed with the 1st District Court, statements from the alleged victim had been recanted, and growing COVID-19 infections at the Cache County Jail have resulted in increased isolation for Ash. The document states Ash has been sequestered for safety in the jail due to his age, marking an “unusually cruel punishment for someone awaiting a trial date that cannot be set.”
Prosecutors “are in an impossible position,” defense attorney Samuel Goble told the court, going on to argue for “something less than full incarceration” for his client.
Cache County prosecutor Spencer Walsh argued Ash posed a threat to the community; he cited facts from the case and prior convictions of violent offenses — including one in 1993 that placed Ash in prison for a decade. The state, Walsh said, is also frustrated with delays in the case, but it was “critical” Ash remain in custody.
While Judge Thomas Willmore denied the motion for bail, he said it was not a ruling on whether Ash’s right to a speedy trial was being infringed.
“Certainly, the Constitution is important,” Willmore said, “and it’s important in regards to Mr. Ash.”
Ash has been charged with second-degree attempted aggravated arson and three misdemeanors for an incident in June and has since been held without bail. It’s alleged Ash poured gasoline on an RV with a woman inside and made threats to kill her.
Lee Earl Poorte, 62, has been charged in 1st District Court with 10 counts of first-degree aggravated sexual abuse of a child and 10 counts of second-degree forcible sexual abuse. The charges were filed with the court on Tuesday.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court, Cache County deputies allege Poorte inappropriately touched two female victims on multiple occasions. One victim, according to deputies, said she had been touched nearly 200 times in varying ways.
Deputies wrote Poorte sent texts to the victims apologizing for the incidents and asking for forgiveness.
Poorte was arrested and booked into the Cache County Jail on Sept. 24, and has since been released on $20,000 bail.
Poorte is scheduled for an initial appearance on Oct. 28.
Travis Scott Murray, 40, of Malad City, Idaho, had a warrant issued for his arrest on Tuesday after failing to appear for sentencing in a sexual extortion case for the second time.
A warrant had been issued for his arrest in August for failing to appear for sentencing, and that warrant was ultimately recalled. Prosecutors told the court Murray had since had two incidents with Malad City law enforcement, and they requested a no bail warrant for his arrest.
Murray pleaded guilty in July to third-degree stalking and third-degree sexual extortion. An affidavit filed with the 1st District Court alleged Murray surreptitiously took photos of a Cache Valley resident performing oral sex and threatened to release the photos if the victim didn’t perform sexually on a video chat. The alleged victim provided 417 screenshots to deputies of harassing behavior.
Jaime Nunez, 48, was set to appear for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 27 regarding assault charges.
Nunez faces two third-degree counts of aggravated assault and three counts of third-degree violation of a pretrial protective order. Nunez is currently being held in the Cache County Jail on a no-bail status.
A probable cause affidavit filed with the court alleges Nunez was involved in an argument with a woman, pushed her against a toolbox and threatened to hit her with a hammer. Nunez ultimately dropped the hammer, Cache County deputies wrote, but allegedly strangled the victim on two separate occasions. Nunez allegedly made threats to kill the victim but eventually let her go.
“The victim laid in bed until Jaime fell asleep, at which point she sneaked out of the house and called for help,” deputies wrote.