A man facing charges for allegedly sexually assaulting children in the 1990s was denied bail on Wednesday.
Steve A. Archuleta, 61, faces seven first-degree felonies: two counts of sodomy on a child, two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, two counts of object rape of a child, and one count of attempted sodomy on a child.
During Archuleta’s appearance in 1st District Court via video from the Cache County Jail, defense attorney Ryan Holdaway argued his client had no past criminal history between now and when the incidents allegedly occurred.
Holdaway indicated Archuleta had never fled law enforcement but left the Cache Valley in 1996 under typical circumstances. Holdaway told the court Archuleta had even been contacted about testifying against Carol A. Ricker — who is currently serving a prison sentence for a related conviction — and was unaware of any allegations against him.
“I don’t think he was aware of anything,” Holdaway told the court, arguing Archuleta was not a flight risk or a public threat.
Cache County prosecutor Dane Murray argued for Archuleta to be held without bail, despite the age of the allegations, due to flight risk and public safety. Murray told the court Archuleta had been recently extradited from Florida and had limited ties to the community.
Judge Brian Cannell ordered him to be held on a no bail status due to the “significant” allegations in the case and potential risk to the public. Archuleta was set to appear in court again later this month.
According to an affidavit filed with the court, Archuleta is alleged to have sexually abused two children, both under the age of 10 when the assaults began in 1991. In addition to the sexual assaults, which continued for a several years, police wrote the children were coerced in to viewing sexual acts involving Archuleta and Ricker.
Ricker was sentenced to the Utah State Prison in 2010 for similar offenses. Police wrote in the affidavit that Archuleta was investigated in 2009, but charges were never filed.
“It is unclear why (Archuleta) was not prosecuted at that time, but it was believed he had fled the State of Utah,” police wrote.
Police wrote Ricker was interviewed from the prison, where she admitted to certain incidents with the child victims but denied others.
Archuleta was booked into the Cache County Jail on May 27.