LOGAN — A 62-year-old Logan man has been bound over for trial on allegations of molesting two teenage girls several years ago. Lee E. Poorte was arrested in September and later released from jail after posting $20,000 bail.
Poorte participated in a virtual preliminary hearing in 1st District Court Thursday afternoon, appearing by web conference with his attorney. He was previously charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony; and 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.
During the hearing, Cache County deputy attorney Dane Murray played an interview with the alleged victim, recorded by investigators at the Children’s Justice Center. The 13-year-old girl claimed how Poorte inappropriately touched her multiple times. The alleged victim reported the touching had occurred both over and under her clothing during the past couple years.
The girl also showed investigators a text message she said Poorte had sent to her. In it, he apologized for touching and betraying her trust.
Later, Cache County sheriff’s investigator Brad Nelson testified about an interview he conducted with a second female who is now 18-years-old. She also reported being groped and molested by Poorte hundreds of times when she was younger.
The second alleged victim also received a similar text message recently from Poorte. He apologized and blamed his actions on his “own insecurities.”
Nelson testified that as the investigation continued, he contacted Poorte at his residence and took him into custody for questioning. During the interview, the suspect allegedly admitted to touching both girls for his “own gratification,” blaming his actions on relationship struggles with his wife.
Poorte did not testify during the hearing, and his attorney, Susanne Gustin, explained they did not wish to present any evidence.
Judge Brian Cannell bound Poorte over on all charges, finding that prosecutors had presented sufficient evidence to show the crimes likely occurred.
Gustin said Poorte wished to plead not guilty to the charges. She also asked for time to begin working through a possible resolution to the case.
Poorte was ordered to appear again in court Jan. 11. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.