Man accused of raping little girl waives preliminary hearing and pleads not guilty

Booking photo for Justin Earl Cisneros (Courtesy: Cache County Jail)

LOGAN — A 41-year-old man accused of sexually abusing a little girl six years ago has waived his right to a preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty. Justin E. Cisneros was arrested in Colorado and transferred back to the Cache County Jail after a warrant was issued by a local judge in July.

Cisneros participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday morning, appearing by web conference from jail. He was previously charged with two counts of sodomy of a child and one count of rape of a child, all first-degree felonies; along with one count of sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.

Defense attorney Rudy Bautista said Cisneros wished to waive their preliminary hearing, where prosecutors would have presented their evidence in the case. He also entered the not guilty pleas and asked for the case to be continued until a trial date can be set.

According to the affidavit for arrest, the alleged victim claimed Cisneros molested and raped her between 2013 and 2015. The crimes occurred repeatedly by the suspect, who was considered a person of trust.

Cache County sheriff’s investigators report the girl’s father called Cisneros in February, during a recorded phone conversation. The suspect originally denied the allegations but later admitted they might have happened, saying a lot of nights he was “drinking and being stupid.”

Judge Brandon Maynard granted the waiver and bound Cisneros over for trial on all of the charges. He also set a pre-trial conference for Jan. 25.

Cisneros is being held in jail without bail. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.

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