Judge postpones sentencing further for ex-Utah State frat member

Jason Relopez appears in 1st District Court for a sentencing hearing on Tuesday afternoon in Logan.

LOGAN — A judge has further postponed the sentencing for Jason Relopez, the 27-year-old former Utah State University student and Sigma Chi fraternity member, who previously pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two students.

Relopez appeared in 1st District Court Tuesday morning, a week after Judge Brian Cannell said he would allow the defendant to back out of a previous plea deal because of an invalid psycho/sexual test result. He explained that he couldn’t rely on the evaluation that found Relopez was a low-to-moderate risk of committing another assault.

The test was central to the plea deal Relopez accepted in February, pleading guilty to one charge of attempted rape, a first-degree felony and one charge of attempted forcible sexual abuse, amended to a third-degree felony.

Previously, prosecutors had called the evaluation inconclusive, while defense attorney Shannon Demler argued that prosecutors were simply trying to back out of the deal because they didn’t like the results.

During Tuesday’s status conference, Demler told the court he had spoken to Relopez about withdrawing his plea and proceeding to trial. He asked Judge Cannell for additional time to discuss the matter further.

Relopez was arrested last year after a woman claimed he raped her multiple times while she was attending a party at the Sigma Chi fraternity house, near USU. A second victim later reported also being sexually assaulted by him a year before, while the two were doing homework in her residence. He remains in the Cache County Jail.

Judge Cannell ordered Relopez to appear again in court May 24 for a pre-trial conference.

<hr /><p style=”text-align: center;”>will@cvradio.com

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!