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Five testify against St. Anne's retreat trio

SCAFOLK032Bx003Fd07Item0036.pdf

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Five testify against St. Anne's retreat trio

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Preliminary hearing for watchment involved in St. Anne's trespassing ordeal.
Five testify against St. Anne’s retreat trio - Packed courtroom hears charges of assault, sexual abuse
By Ryan Robb Oliver
Staff writer

A packed courtroom of witnesses, family members, deputy sheriffs and reporters listened Wednesday afternoon to the testimony of five people who said they were victims of three men who went too far while protecting a Logan Canyon retreat.

The preliminary hearing in Logan’s 1st District Court had to be delayed into the afternoon because one of the defendants, Arthur Peasnall of Tooele County, failed to show. He was contacted and arrived later, saying he was confused about the hearing date. Testimony in the hearing was expected to continue through most of today.

The three men, Peasnall, John Jeppson of Pocatell9o, Idaho and Christ Doerr of Tooele County, are each charged with six counts of aggravated assault and one count of forcible sexual abuse for violently detaining 38 teen-age and young adult trespassers Oct. 10 at the St. Anne’s Retreat property they were tending.

The 17-year-old Smithfield girl who was allegedly sexually abused said in court that Jeppson felt her buttocks and under her shirt as part of a search for weapons.

“He never checked my jacket.” She said in tears. “He just went up my jacket and shirt.”
Jeppson felt her stomach and her breasts on top of her bra, she said.

The girl said she had come up to the property, a former Catholic retreat rumored to be haunted, with several friends for a Halloween scare, but when she squeezed through the gates she got more than she bargained for.
“We got to the end of the bridge, and this guy came around with a gun and said get down on the f’ing ground,” she said.

She said all three of the men were armed with shotguns with flashlights taped to them, and she said Jeppson fired his gun into a tree to show he was serious.

Like the other victims who came down on the evening of Oct. 10, the girl said her hands were bound by plastic flex cuffs and she was placed into an empty swimming pool until police arrived. All of the trespassers were bound with cords around their necks, which Jeppson allegedly said would detonate and blow their heads off if they moved.

“I felt extremely scared, like something you see in a movie. I didn’t believe it was happening,” she said.
Defense attorney for the three men tried separating their clients from the totality of allegations made by the prosecution’s witnesses. Defenders for Doerr and Peasnall pointed out neither of the two touched the girl. In later testimony, the three defense attorneys would try to separate out who exactly did what, since prosecutors have charged all three men with the same seven crimes.

A Logan boy of Asian descent was a member of the first group of eight people who went to the retreat in the early morning of Oct. 10. The other 30 didn’t arrive at the retreat until the evening of that day.

He testified in a Cache County Jail uniform, having been recently convicted on shoplifting charges.

He said when the three men caught his group on the property; Jeppson held a revolver up to his temple and told him, “I should kill you like I killed one of your family members in Vietnam.”

Jeppson then moved the gun away from his head and fired, he said.

Three more teen-agers who were in the latter group of 30 testified the men physically assaulted them during the episode.

A 17-year old Richmond girl said her head was pulled back by her hair while she was handcuffed in the pool, aggravating a spinal condition. She said she was talking to her friend at the time.

“Mr. Jeppson came up behind me and pulled my head back and said, ‘Shut up. Do you want that rope any tighter?”

A Trenton teen said he was punched in the face by Peasnall and a 17-year old North Logan boy said Doerr kicked him in the stomach when he had been forced at gunpoint to lie on the ground.

He said Jeppson hit him on the side of the head and knocked him unconscious with the butt of this [his] shogun.

One more alleged victim was scheduled to testify for the prosecution today along with a couple of deputy sheriffs. The defense is then scheduled to bring forward its case.

Neither Jeppson nor Doerr would talk with reporters when they left court, and Peasnall was booked into the Cache County Jail for failing to show up on time for the hearing.

[Photo (top) by Mitch Mascaro/Herald Journal. Caption: Assault suspects John Jeppson, right, and Christopher Doerr are flanked by a TV crew Wednesday as they leave 1st District Court following a preliminary hearing. The hearing continued into the afternoon due to the late arrival of fellow suspect Arthur Peasnall.]
[Photo (bottom) by Mitch Mascaro/Herald Journal. Caption: County Attorney Scott Wyatt speaks to the media Wednesday after the end of the first day of the preliminary hearing into the charges against three men in the St. Anne’s retreat case.]

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Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives, FOLK COLL 32

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Reproduction for publication, exhibition, web display or commercial use is only permissible with the consent of the USU Libraries Special Collections and Archives, phone (435) 797-2663.

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Utah State University Folklore in the news collection, 1973-2012, FOLK COLL 32
http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv04849
St. Anne's Retreat

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http://digital.lib.usu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p16944coll20/id/42
SCAFOLK032Bx003Fd07Item0036.pdf

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Five testify against St. Anne’s retreat trio - Packed courtroom hears charges of assault, sexual abuse
By Ryan Robb Oliver
Staff writer

A packed courtroom of witnesses, family members, deputy sheriffs and reporters listened Wednesday afternoon to the testimony of five people who said they were victims of three men who went too far while protecting a Logan Canyon retreat.

The preliminary hearing in Logan’s 1st District Court had to be delayed into the afternoon because one of the defendants, Arthur Peasnall of Tooele County, failed to show. He was contacted and arrived later, saying he was confused about the hearing date. Testimony in the hearing was expected to continue through most of today.

The three men, Peasnall, John Jeppson of Pocatell9o, Idaho and Christ Doerr of Tooele County, are each charged with six counts of aggravated assault and one count of forcible sexual abuse for violently detaining 38 teen-age and young adult trespassers Oct. 10 at the St. Anne’s Retreat property they were tending.

The 17-year-old Smithfield girl who was allegedly sexually abused said in court that Jeppson felt her buttocks and under her shirt as part of a search for weapons.

“He never checked my jacket.” She said in tears. “He just went up my jacket and shirt.”
Jeppson felt her stomach and her breasts on top of her bra, she said.

The girl said she had come up to the property, a former Catholic retreat rumored to be haunted, with several friends for a Halloween scare, but when she squeezed through the gates she got more than she bargained for.
“We got to the end of the bridge, and this guy came around with a gun and said get down on the f’ing ground,” she said.

She said all three of the men were armed with shotguns with flashlights taped to them, and she said Jeppson fired his gun into a tree to show he was serious.

Like the other victims who came down on the evening of Oct. 10, the girl said her hands were bound by plastic flex cuffs and she was placed into an empty swimming pool until police arrived. All of the trespassers were bound with cords around their necks, which Jeppson allegedly said would detonate and blow their heads off if they moved.

“I felt extremely scared, like something you see in a movie. I didn’t believe it was happening,” she said.
Defense attorney for the three men tried separating their clients from the totality of allegations made by the prosecution’s witnesses. Defenders for Doerr and Peasnall pointed out neither of the two touched the girl. In later testimony, the three defense attorneys would try to separate out who exactly did what, since prosecutors have charged all three men with the same seven crimes.

A Logan boy of Asian descent was a member of the first group of eight people who went to the retreat in the early morning of Oct. 10. The other 30 didn’t arrive at the retreat until the evening of that day.

He testified in a Cache County Jail uniform, having been recently convicted on shoplifting charges.

He said when the three men caught his group on the property; Jeppson held a revolver up to his temple and told him, “I should kill you like I killed one of your family members in Vietnam.”

Jeppson then moved the gun away from his head and fired, he said.

Three more teen-agers who were in the latter group of 30 testified the men physically assaulted them during the episode.

A 17-year old Richmond girl said her head was pulled back by her hair while she was handcuffed in the pool, aggravating a spinal condition. She said she was talking to her friend at the time.

“Mr. Jeppson came up behind me and pulled my head back and said, ‘Shut up. Do you want that rope any tighter?”

A Trenton teen said he was punched in the face by Peasnall and a 17-year old North Logan boy said Doerr kicked him in the stomach when he had been forced at gunpoint to lie on the ground.

He said Jeppson hit him on the side of the head and knocked him unconscious with the butt of this [his] shogun.

One more alleged victim was scheduled to testify for the prosecution today along with a couple of deputy sheriffs. The defense is then scheduled to bring forward its case.

Neither Jeppson nor Doerr would talk with reporters when they left court, and Peasnall was booked into the Cache County Jail for failing to show up on time for the hearing.

[Photo (top) by Mitch Mascaro/Herald Journal. Caption: Assault suspects John Jeppson, right, and Christopher Doerr are flanked by a TV crew Wednesday as they leave 1st District Court following a preliminary hearing. The hearing continued into the afternoon due to the late arrival of fellow suspect Arthur Peasnall.]

[Photo (bottom) by Mitch Mascaro/Herald Journal. Caption: County Attorney Scott Wyatt speaks to the media Wednesday after the end of the first day of the preliminary hearing into the charges against three men in the St. Anne’s retreat case.]

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