Sex Abuse Case Warrant Concern Leads To Judge’s Recusal In Utah

The former nurse’s attorney claims that a detective lied to the defendant by saying that they had evidence, such as DNA, semen samples and fingerprints that tied the former nurse to the alleged sexual assault of a patient. That evidence, according to the defense, was nonexistent. The defense further claims that the detectives used the man’s religious beliefs to coerce the confession from the defendant.

Allegedly, after hours of interrogation, the former nurse asked to pray. He prayed out loud. After that, the detective continued to insist that the man had committed the crime. Eventually, the former nurse said that he “must have done it.” He went on to say that he couldn’t remember any details or the incident itself.

In the latest event, the judge who signed the man’s arrest warrant and who was presiding over the trial has recused himself from the case. In his statement, the judge noted that it appeared the court erred in issuing the arrest warrant and that “any decision the court makes would be tainted by inference that the court’s ruling, in some way, is an attempt to compensate for its error.”

This recusal comes after about a year of battles between the prosecution and the defense about whether statements and a letter from the defendant should be allowed to be presented at a trial. The man’s trial hasn’t yet been scheduled.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, “Utah judge bows out of sex-abuse case citing ‘impartiality’ concerns” Jessica Miller, Mar. 11, 2015