LOGAN — A 34-year-old former Logan man accused of raping a child more than eight years ago is being partially released from jail after his attorney argued the COVID-19 pandemic was jeopardizing their right to a fair trial. Guillermo “Gizmo” Farias has been in jail on $50,000 bail. He was arrested in April on a warrant at his home in Wicks, Arkansas and extradited back to Cache County.
Farias participated in a bail hearing in 1st District Court Wednesday morning, appearing by web conference from jail. He was previously charged with rape of a child, a first-degree felony; and, three counts of sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.
According to an arrest warrant, Logan City police officers were contacted by the alleged victim earlier this year. She described how Farias, a family acquaintance, raped her when she was 12-years-old.
The incident reportedly occurred when the girl and an 18-year-old family friend went to Farias’ residence in Logan. On that night, the girl was provided alcohol and fell asleep on a couch. She later woke up to discover the suspect pulling her from the couch. He allegedly raped her as she pushed him away and told him “no.”
During Wednesday’s hearing, public defender Mike McGinnis asked for Farias to be released on pretrial supervision since health precautions are prohibiting the court from holding jury trials. He explained that his client did not pose a threat to the community or the alleged victim. His family had also relocated to Logan, so he wasn’t considered to be a flight risk.
Farias told the court he just wanted to be able to support his family, who are currently living in a local hotel. He promised to comply with any restrictions.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Dane Murray said the case against Farias involves serious charges but he understood the concerns due to COVID-19. He suggested the suspect be placed on house arrest.
Judge Angela Fonnesbeck expressed “grave concerns” about defendants not being able to exercise their constitutional right to a speedy trial because of the coronavirus. She agreed with both attorneys and ordered Farias to be released on house arrest and an ankle monitor. She also prohibited him from having any contact with the alleged victim and going anywhere except to work.
Farias was scheduled to appear again in court next month for a status hearing. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.