Northern Utah courts Feb. 27-March 3: Hepworth pleas to child sex abuse charges

Monday , March 06, 2017 - 7:06 PM

JESSICA KOKESH, Standard-Examiner Staff

This is a regular round-up of hearings in Weber and Davis county courts, including only records posted between Feb. 27 to March 3.

JOSHUA SCHOENENBERGER

Charges: One count of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, and one count of child abuse, a second-degree felony. 

The trial for a Layton man accused of beating a 2-year-old to death in 2015 has been rescheduled. 

Joshua Scott Schoenenberger, 36, will go before a jury Sept. 20-22 in Farmington’s 2nd District Court. His trial was originally scheduled for March 9, but was pushed back the request of his attorney, Edward Bass. Bass needed more time to prepare for trial and to retain a new medical expert witness, according to court documents. 

Schoenenberger is charged with one count of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; and a one count of child abuse, a second-degree felony, in the 2015 death of JJ Sieger. Schoenenberger has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Sieger was taken to Davis Hospital and Medical Center in the early morning hours of May 9, 2015. The boy was later flown to Primary Children’s Medical Center, where he died on May 11, 2015, after being taken off of life support, officials said.

Schoenenberger allegedly beat the boy because he soiled his diaper.

His next hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 3. He is being held without bail in Davis County Jail. 


 

MICHAEL HEPWORTH

Charges: One count of attempted rape of a child, a first-degree felony; one count of attempted sodomy on a child; a first-degree felony; one count of rape, a first-degree felony; one count of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony felony; and one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. 

A former state forensic scientist accused of sexually abusing two children over a five-year period has accepted a plea deal. 

Michael Hepworth, 54, of Woods Cross pleaded guilty Feb. 27 in 2nd District Court in Farmington to four first-degree felonies: one count of attempted rape of a child; one count of attempted sodomy on a child; one count of rape; and one count of forcible sodomy. He also faces a second-degree felony: one count of sexual exploitation of a minor.

In exchange for the plea, Hepworth’s five other charges in the case were dismissed. Those charges included four more first-degree felonies: one count of rape of a child; one count of sodomy on a child; and two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, as well as one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. 

Hepworth is accused of raping and sexually abusing a boy and a girl numerous times over five years. The two were 8 and 12 years old when the abuse began, according to court documents. Hepworth was acquainted with the two children.

Each of the first-degree felonies carry a penalty of five year to life in prison, while the second-degree felony carries a penalty of one to 15 years in prison. 

His sentencing is scheduled for 8 a.m. April 25 before Judge Michael G. Allphin. 


 

ROBERT EUGENE MOCK

Charges: One count of forcible sexual abuse, a third-degree felony. 

A 59-year-old Davis County man accused of attempting to sexually abuse a teenage girl bonded out of jail. 

Robert Eugene Mock is charged with one count of forcible sexual abuse, a third-degree felony, in Farmington’s 2nd District Court and entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment on Feb. 27. 

A probable cause statement filed in connection with Mock’s arrest says in September 2016, he made sexual comments toward a teen he knew under the age of 15 and attempted to put her hand down his pants.

He is out of Davis County Jail on a $20,000 bond. 

His next hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. March 27. 


 

CHAD WHITTINGTON

Charges: One count of kidnapping, a second-degree felony; one count of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; and one count of damaging a communication device, a class B misdemeanor. 

The pre-trial conference for Chad Whittington, 43, of Ogden has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. April 25 in Ogden’s 2nd District Court. He pleaded not guilty to one count of kidnapping, a second-degree felony; one count of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; and one count of damaging a communication device, a class B misdemeanor. 

Whittington is scheduled to go to trial July 12-13 for a March 2016 incident in which he was accused of beating and holding a woman he knew against her will for several days in his Ogden home. 


 

JOHN PAUL SCHNEIDEWEND

Charges: One count of sodomy on a child, a first-degree felony; two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony; and 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a child, a second-degree felony.

The pre-trial conference for John Paul Schneidewend, 23, of Ogden has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. March 27 in Ogden’s 2nd District Court. 

Schneidewend is charged with 13 counts relating to his alleged sexual abuse of two children under the age of 14. 


 

ALVIN SALIMA

Charges: One count of aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony; one count of aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony; one count of a possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony; and one count of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony.

A hearing for Alvin Salima, 35, of Roy has been rescheduled after he retained new counsel. 

Utah defense attorney Ed Brass will now be representing Salima, who is accused of allegedly holding his neighbors hostage at gunpoint in an April 12, 2016. Salima has has submitted a request for new counsel on Feb. 2. 

Salima’s next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. March 15 in Ogden’s 2nd District Court. 

Reach digital producer Jessica Kokesh at 801-625-4229 or jkokesh@standard.net. You can also follow her on Twitter at @JessicaKokesh or Facebook.com/ByJessKokesh.

Sign up for e-mail news updates.

Recommended for You

×