LOGAN — An 18-year-old man charged with raping a teenage girl is being refused bail. Jaxson G. Smith was ordered to remain in jail during his trial, after telling the court he made a mistake but wasn’t a danger.
Smith participated in a virtual detention hearing in 1st District Court Monday afternoon, appearing by web conference from the Cache County Jail. He has been charged with five counts of rape of a child, three counts of sodomy of a child, and three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, all first-degree felonies.
According to an arrest report, Cache County sheriff’s deputies opened an investigation after receiving a tip from the SafeUT app. The informant claimed Smith was engaging in sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl.
Deputies interviewed the alleged victim. She described how after sneaking out of her home, Smith would pick her up and take her to his residence. While there, the two would engage in sexual activity.
During Monday’s hearing, Cache County Deputy Attorney Griffin Hazard asked the court to keep Smith in jail. He said they had evidence that the suspect had prior involvements with the alleged victim. He allegedly continued to have sex with the girl, even after being warned that he could be sentenced to prison.
Defense attorney Joseph Saxton asked the court to consider some sort of bail. He said his client could be supervised by his parents or fitted with an ankle monitor, to track him 24 hours a day.
Judge Brandon Maynard expressed concern with releasing Smith, in light of the allegation that he had been involved with the alleged victim previously. He ordered him to remain in jail and appear again in court April 19.
Smith spoke briefly, telling the court he didn’t think he was a threat to the public and that he made a mistake. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.
Individuals arrested and charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.