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May 3, 2004

Judge delays ruling in sex abuse case

From: Salt Lake Tribune, UT - May 3, 2004

By Ashley Broughton The Salt Lake Tribune

A 4th District Judge on Friday delayed ruling on whether a former American Sign Language instructor at two Utah colleges would be bound over to stand trial on felony sexual abuse charges.

Roger Alan Wilkins, 36, is charged with attempted rape and forcible sodomy, both first-degree felonies, and two counts of second-degree felony forcible sex abuse. The alleged victim was a then-18-year-old hearing impaired and developmentally disabled girl who lived with him at the time.

Following testimony at Wilkins' preliminary hearing Friday, defense attorney Ron Yengich told Judge Anthony Schofield he wants time to file a motion, court records show. He has until May 14 to do so, and prosecutors have until May 21 to respond.

But Schofield scheduled an arraignment May 26 for Wilkins, just as he would have if Wilkins had been bound over for trial.

Utah County prosecutor Donna Kelly said she wasn't sure why Yengich asked to file a motion.

Wilkins, who was placed on the state's sex offender registry after a 1993 charge of lewdness involving a child, had taught sign language at Salt Lake Community College and Utah Valley State College. Kelly said Friday he has been dismissed from both positions.

Wilkins apparently met the alleged victim in fall 2002, when she was a student at SLCC. She moved into his Lehi home in December. The charges stem from incidents in January 2003, when the girl was 18.

Wilkins' alleged victim testified at Friday's hearing, Kelly said, saying "she told him no about a million times."

A psychologist who had evaluated the teenager also testified, saying the girl functioned at about a 12-year-old level, Kelly said.

Wilkins initially was charged with rape, but prosecutors on Friday amended that to attempted rape, she said.

© Copyright 2004, The Salt Lake Tribune.