LOGAN — A new preliminary hearing has been scheduled for a 37-year-old Arkansas man, Jeremiah S. Wood, who is accused of traveling to Logan to have sex with a teenage girl.
Wood appeared in 1st District Court Tuesday morning. He was arrested in August and later charged with two counts of rape and two counts of forcible sodomy, all first-degree felonies. He also faces charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and seducing a minor over the internet, both second-degree felonies, and dealing in materials harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony.
Sheriff’s investigators claim Wood allegedly traveled to the area in May. He met up with the teenage girl from Hyrum at the Days Inn, reportedly checking in under a false identity. He had been communicating with her for over a year, exchanging pornographic photos.
The case is a joint effort between deputies and agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
In September, Wood’s defense attorney, Wayne Caldwell, said they wished to waive their preliminary hearing, moments after a judge ruled that prosecutors could play a video from the victim instead of her testifying.
In November, Caldwell filed a motion with the court to reconsider allowing Wood to have a preliminary hearing, because the victims recorded interview was not done correctly. Utah Law doesn’t allow recorded statements by victims older than 14 to be admissible unless they are done under oath.
During Tuesday’s court appearance, Caldwell asked for the preliminary hearing to be rescheduled. Judge Brian Cannell set it for January 25.
Wood remains in the Cache County Jail on $100,000 bail. He could face up to life in prison if found guilty.
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