OGDEN — A court is scheduled Wednesday, Feb. 10, to review the mental competency of an Ogden portrait photographer accused of sexually abusing two customers.
Defense attorney Randall Marshall filed a petition in 2nd District Court on Dec. 18 for the evaluation of Russell Scott Healey, 58, who is charged with two counts of first-degree felony object rape and two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.
In his motion, Marshall said a family member of Healey’s said he “has a learning disability and has a difficult time understanding new situations.”
Marshall said Healey did not seem to understand the purpose of waiving his preliminary hearing, even though he had discussed it with him in detail the day before he appeared in court.
“Counsel is concerned that (Healey) may not be able to process and understand the proceedings. Defendant has difficulty reading, writing and spelling,” Marshall wrote.
Judge Ernie Jones signed an order Dec. 21 engaging the Utah Department of Human Services to examine Healey’s competency to proceed toward trial.
The evaluation gauges various factors outlined in state law, including whether a defendant comprehends and appreciates the charges against him; can inform his lawyer of pertinent facts, events and states of mind; and understand possible penalties.
Healey has been held in the Weber County Jail without bail since his arrest in November.
The arrest was based on alleged incidents involving two customers, but Weber County sheriff’s investigators said in a probable cause statement that potentially many women have been victimized similarly over the years.
The arrest affidavit said Healey offered free photo shoots to women but they would have to pay for any photos they wanted.
He would then withhold photos, ask them to pose for more provocative photos and seek sexual favors, the affidavit said.
The investigation began Aug. 7 when a woman reported she had been assaulted by Healey.
She said Healey began making advances on her, telling her how beautiful she was. She said he allegedly grabbed her and kissed her neck, fondled her breasts and inserted his fingers in her genital area.
Another alleged victim told deputies Healey had offered to do a free photo shoot to help build her portfolio.
She said at one shoot, she was sitting on a couch while wearing a dress when Healey allegedly rubbed her upper leg and kissed her vagina through her underwear.