LOGAN — A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for a 74-year-old Logan man accused with sexually abusing two young girls. Roberto G. Ponce was arrested and booked into the Cache County Jail in March, where he is being held without bail.
Wednesday morning, Ponce appeared by web conference from jail for a virtual hearing in 1st District Court. He had been charged previously with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony.
According to an arrest report, Logan City police officers received a complaint from the alleged victim’s grandmother March 12. She claimed the two girls, ages 6 and 7-years-old, had disclosed to her that Ponce had been molesting them.
Officers report, the woman confronted Ponce during a secretly recorded interaction. During the conversation, he allegedly admitted to molesting the girls multiple times during the past year. The woman provided police with the audio from the exchange.
As the investigation continued, the alleged victims were interviewed by officers at the Children’s Justice Center. They described being touched by the suspect, “lots of times.”
Police later questioned Ponce. He admitted to touching the girls both over and under their clothing, but then asked to discontinue the interview.
During Wednesday’s hearing, defense attorney Ryan Holdaway asked the court to schedule the preliminary hearing, where prosecutors will present their evidence in the case. A judge will then determine whether or not to bind Ponce over for trial.
Judge Brian Cannell scheduled the hearing for April 21.
Ponce didn’t speak during the virtual hearing. 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.