LOGAN — A Smithfield man is being bound over for trial on charges that he downloaded child pornography and molested a five-year-old girl. Judge Thomas Wilmore ruled prosecutors had sufficient evidence to charge Daniel Stapley with seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of sex abuse of a child, all second degree felonies.
Stapley appeared in 1st District Court Thursday morning for a preliminary hearing. His defense attorney Wayne Caldwell questioned prosecutor’s evidence.
Cache County Sheriff’s deputy Candice Hatch told the court she originally received evidence from the State Attorney General’s Office that Stapley was accessing images of child porn over the internet. She served a search warrant to his parent’s home, where he was currently living in the basement. While there, she seized two smart phones. On one of those phones were found seven images of child porn. A forensic examination later uncovered hundreds of additional pictures.
Prosecutors then called a woman to testify how she watched Stapley touch a young girl while buckling the child into a car seat. The assault allegedly took place in 2015, at a campsite in the High Creek area.
Caldwell argued that the testimony was a fantastical story from a woman who isn’t credible. He noted how she admitted during the hearing to being high on meth and prescription drugs at the time of the allegation.
Judge Willmore said it would be up to a jury to weigh the evidence.
Stapley also faces one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, dealing in materials harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony and a misdemeanor of lewdness involving a child. A preliminary hearing for those charges has been scheduled for September 25.
Stapley is currently out on bail. He could face up to life in prison if found guilty.
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