Arkansas man pleads guilty to sexually abusing Hyrum girl

LOGAN — A 37-year-old Arkansas man has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a teenage girl from Hyrum. Jeremiah S. Wood accepted a plea deal that will cancel a two-day trial that was scheduled to begin Thursday, and keep the victim from having to testify.

Wood appeared in 1st District Court Thursday afternoon. He pleaded guilty to three amended counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony. As part of the agreement, prosecutors dropped the four remaining charges against him.

Sheriff’s investigators allege Wood traveled to the area in May 2017. He met up with the then 15-year-old girl at the Days Inn, reportedly checking in under a false identity. He is also alleged to have been communicating with her for over a year, exchanging pornographic photos.

During Thursday’s court appearance, defense attorney Wayne Caldwell said the plea deal meant Wood acknowledged to molesting the victim. He asked the court to schedule sentencing for December 11.

Wood only spoke briefly, telling the court he was willing to waive his right to a trial and guilty of the amended charges.

Judge Brian Cannell ordered Wood to complete a pre-sentence report, where probation agents will investigate the defendant’s criminal history.

Wood remains in the Cache County Jail on $100,000 bail. He could face up to 15-years in prison.

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