BRIGHAM CITY -- A former Box Elder County Sheriff's Deputy accused of coercing women out of their clothes during traffic stops appeared in his fifth courtroom Monday on criminal charges.
At Monday's arraignment of Scott Womack, 36, on charges of felony custodial sexual conduct with a minor and official misconduct, 1st District Judge Ben Hadfield set a June 5 status conference for likely scheduling of a preliminary hearing.
After Monday's hearing, Womack, accompanied by two women who were not identified, walked past assembled media and declined comment. His wife, of Fielding, filed for divorce earlier this month, according to court records.
Womack is also charged with similar allegations in the Box Elder County Justice Court and city courts for Garland and Tremonton. The charges in the four courts recount six incidents where women were strip-searched under the ruse of checking for tattoos described in warrants that did not exist.
All of the incidents came between July and November 2010, when Womack was on patrol for the sheriff's office.
Last week eight criminal charges were filed against Womack in federal court in Salt Lake City for the same types of illicit encounters in the same time frame investigated by the FBI. After his arraignment on those charges last week, Judge Samuel Alba scheduled Womack for a five-day trial to begin June 25.
The federal charges list eight victims by their initials, while the charges in the district and justice courts only list dates. The federal counts of deprivation of constitutional rights are misdemeanors, according to court records, and carry up to a year in federal prison.
Monday's arraignment was for the most serious charge, the custodial sexual conduct with a minor count, the only felony filed against Womack, which carries up to five years in Utah State Prison.
"This case is very unusual. That is about all I can say," said special prosecutor Michael Christiansen on the spread of charges against Womack across so many jurisdictions.
Because he was a sheriff's deputy, the Box Elder County Attorney's Office had to step back from the case because of potential conflicts of interest. It handed off prosecution on four of the cases to Christiansen. City prosecutors filed the charges in Tremonton and Garland.
Box Elder Justice Court Judge Kevin Christensen has also recused himself from hearing Womack's charges; a Logan judge is set to pinch-hit.
Christiansen said there have been no discussions about Womack among the various prosecutors. He said he only learned of the federal charges filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office last week through the media. He declined to comment on whether there would be any coordination among the prosecutors.
Womack was fired a year ago by the sheriff's office during investigation of the incidents. A felony conviction would bring the end of Womack's certification as a police officer.
After his arraignment earlier this month in the Box Elder Justice Court, Womack would only say he was employed but not in law enforcement.
He already has been arraigned in the Tremonton and Garland justice courts. Court records there have not been updated as to his next court dates in those cities, and officials were not immediately available Monday for comment.
Two of his victims have sued him civilly in federal court for damages. The two suits filed last fall by Talia Buck and Tamsen Reid were combined into one suit by Judge Dee Benson last month.
The civil suit is still in discovery with no court dates. Once scheduled, Womack's purported sins will then be on display in six different courts.