Evidence issues continue to holdup case of Smithfield man accused of child sex abuse

LOGAN — Attorneys for both sides have asked a judge for more time, as they work through evidence issues in the sexual offense case against Daniel Stapley. The 44-year-old Smithfield man was arrested in 2016.

Stapley appeared in 1st District Court Monday morning. He has been bound over on charges that he allegedly downloaded child pornography and molested a five-year-old girl.

In December 2016, Stapley was 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 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 and one count of sex abuse of a child, all second-degree felonies.

Prosecutors later charged the defendant with one count of sexually abusing a child, a second-degree felony, claiming Stapley touched 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.

During Monday’s hearing, defense attorney Wayne Caldwell said files on Stapley’s phone were allegedly altered by detectives as they were conducting their investigation. They now don’t show the correct date and time the files were last viewed.

Caldwell said other people had access to Stapley’s phone. The incorrect data is raising questions of who viewed the child pornography.

State attorney Jacob Gordon acknowledged the discrepancy to the files and explained they needed to investigate it further. He told the court they planned to have more people look at the phone.

Judge Thomas Willmore ordered Stapley to return to court on May 21. The Smithfield man is currently out on bail and could face up to life in prison if found guilty.


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