Judge won’t release ex-CSI officer pending trial, citing earlier suicidal threat
FARMINGTON — A former Weber County crime scene investigator charged with child sexual abuse and voyeurism will be kept in jail after a judge Thursday expressed fear the despondent defendant could “go out guns a-blazing with law enforcement” if he is freed pending trial.
At an arraignment and bail hearing, defense attorney Tara Isaacson urged 2nd District Judge Michael DiReda to allow Marc Swain, 48, of Ogden, to be released on bail with pretrial services monitoring. The Davis County Attorney’s Office warned against freeing Swain, and DiReda sided with prosecutors.
The mother of the alleged victim testified that the girl “is not afraid” that Swain would harm her if he gets out of jail, and Isaacson told DiReda that Swain “no longer has those thoughts and feelings” of suicide that he experienced this summer when the most recent charges arose.
Swain originally was charged in March with electronic voyeurism and sexual exploitation of a minor and was released with conditions. But prosecutors filed charges of first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child in August after the same girl reported the more serious alleged offenses.
Police said in a probable cause statement that Swain learned of the pending second set of charges and threatened to commit suicide, getting a firearm from his home. Officers found Swain, took the gun from him and he was involuntarily committed for psychiatric evaluation for a few days.
“He was going to commit suicide or have law enforcement shoot him,” deputy Davis County attorney Matthew Janzen said in court Thursday.
Isaacson responded that from her reading of the arrest reports, fears about a shootout with police were based on officers’ concerns as they were preparing to arrest him, not on anything Swain may have said. Janzen said an arrest warrant for Swain, though, warned “there were indications there would be a shootout with police.”
Considering the testimony of the victim’s mother, DiReda said he was not concerned that Swain might try to contact or harm them. “What is more troubling to me,” the judge said, is that Swain “would either harm himself or he might engage law enforcement in ‘blue suicide.'”
Despite Isaacson’s comments about whether Swain actually threatened to initiate a confrontation with police, DiReda said he still was worried about the man’s “sort of wanting to end it all, overwhelmed with the potential penalties,” in early August.
“That is not an uncommon scenario, by the way, in the criminal justice system,” DiReda said. “If he chose to do it, go out guns a-blazing with law enforcement, a lot of people are at risk.”
DiReda set Dec. 17 for a preliminary hearing on the charges.
Swain was put on leave by Weber County CSI after the first arrest. Isaacson said he lost that job and later found another while he was free on bail.
Layton police and Davis prosecutors have investigated the case because Swain had worked closely with many people in Ogden and Weber County law enforcement, presenting an appearance of a conflict of interest if local authorities had handled the case.