Preliminary hearing reset for Smithfield man accused of downloading child porn and child sex abuse

LOGAN — A judge has rescheduled another preliminary hearing for Daniel Stapley. The 43-year-old Smithfield man was arrested last December accused of downloading child pornography and later also charged with sexually abusing a child.

Stapley appeared in 1st District District Court Monday afternoon. Judge Thomas Willmore set the preliminary hearing for August 11, when state attorneys will present their evidence in the three cases. At that time, the judge will determine if the defendant will be bound over for trial.

Defense attorney Brenda Weinberg asked the court for the hearing, saying that they and prosecutors had failed to reach a deal in the case.

The hearing has already been postponed several times due to evidentiary issues.

Judge Willmore said he would not continue the hearing again. He told both sides to be ready in August.

Stapley was originally arrested after investigators received evidence that he was accessing images of child porn over the internet. Deputies served a search warrant to his parent’s home, where he was currently living in the basement. They seized his smart phone and took it as evidence. He was later charged with seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.

On February 6, Stapley was arrested while out on bail. State attorneys filed four new charges against him, including aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony, dealing in materials harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony and a misdemeanor of lewdness involving a child.

Stapley is currently out on bail again. He could face up to life in prison if found guilty.

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