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St. Anne's trio bound over for trial

SCAFOLK032Bx003Fd07Item0037.pdf

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St. Anne's trio bound over for trial

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Watchmen cahrged with tying up and terrorizing 38 trespassing teenagers at St. Anne's retreat will go to trial for their charges.
St. Anne’s trio bound over for trial
By Ryan Robb Oliver
Staff writer

A 1st District Court judge determined Thursday there was enough evidence to order the trial of three men charged with tying up and terrorizing 38 trespassers at the St. Anne’s Retreat.

John Jeppson of Pocatello, Idaho, and Arthur Peasnall and Chris Doerr, both of Tooele County, face six counts of aggravated assault. Jeppson will face an additional charge of forcible sexual abuse.

“This was expected,” said Doerr’s public defender Barbara Lachmar after the hearing. Lachmar said the defense does not present most of its evidence until trial.

Sexual abuse charges had originally been filed against all three men by the Cache County Attorney’s Office. But after listening to two days of preliminary hearing testimony from alleged victims and police officers who arrived at the retreat in Logan Canyon, Judge Clint Judkins dropped the sex charges against Doerr and Peasnall, saying prosecutors failed to bring forward enough evidence.

A 17-year old Smithfield girl had testified Wednesday that only Jeppson touched her buttocks and breasts before he tied her up, supposedly checking her for weapons.
Cache County Attorney Scott Wyatt said he sought sex abuse charges against all three men because they were acting in concert with one another.

The three men are accused of violently detaining several groups of teen-age and young adult trespassers at the retreat Oct. 10. The three allegedly wielded shotguns with flashlights strapped to the barrels, which they allegedly fired into the air and threatened to kill the trespassers with if they didn’t follow orders to get on the ground. The 38 people would later be handcuffed and bound around their necks with a cord until police arrived.

Defense attorneys for the three men mounted no significant attacks on the testimony of the six alleged victims in the two-day preliminary hearing. Jeppson’s attorney, David Perry, appeared he was laying the groundwork for a defense based on his client feeling threatened by the trespassers and taking reasonable measures to respond to that threat.

One blow to the defense came out of Thursday’s testimony by a Cache County sheriff’s investigator. Lt. Von Williamson said not only did the three men possibly go beyond what’s allowed under law to stop trespassers, but they didn’t even [have] a right to stop anyone because the St. Anne’s Retreat is on leased U.S. Forest Service land.

“According to their special-use permit, they are not authorized to prevent people from walking on their property,” Williamson said.

Wyatt also said Jeppson, who was allowed by the wonders of the retreat’s buildings to tend the property, was never given permission by them to act as a security guard.

“The message here is don’t defend someone else’s property without their permission,” he said.

The men are scheduled to be arraigned March 23.

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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/45
SCAFOLK032Bx003Fd07Item0037.pdf

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St. Anne’s trio bound over for trial
By Ryan Robb Oliver
Staff writer

A 1st District Court judge determined Thursday there was enough evidence to order the trial of three men charged with tying up and terrorizing 38 trespassers at the St. Anne’s Retreat.

John Jeppson of Pocatello, Idaho, and Arthur Peasnall and Chris Doerr, both of Tooele County, face six counts of aggravated assault. Jeppson will face an additional charge of forcible sexual abuse.

“This was expected,” said Doerr’s public defender Barbara Lachmar after the hearing. Lachmar said the defense does not present most of its evidence until trial.

Sexual abuse charges had originally been filed against all three men by the Cache County Attorney’s Office. But after listening to two days of preliminary hearing testimony from alleged victims and police officers who arrived at the retreat in Logan Canyon, Judge Clint Judkins dropped the sex charges against Doerr and Peasnall, saying prosecutors failed to bring forward enough evidence.

A 17-year old Smithfield girl had testified Wednesday that only Jeppson touched her buttocks and breasts before he tied her up, supposedly checking her for weapons.
Cache County Attorney Scott Wyatt said he sought sex abuse charges against all three men because they were acting in concert with one another.

The three men are accused of violently detaining several groups of teen-age and young adult trespassers at the retreat Oct. 10. The three allegedly wielded shotguns with flashlights strapped to the barrels, which they allegedly fired into the air and threatened to kill the trespassers with if they didn’t follow orders to get on the ground. The 38 people would later be handcuffed and bound around their necks with a cord until police arrived.

Defense attorneys for the three men mounted no significant attacks on the testimony of the six alleged victims in the two-day preliminary hearing. Jeppson’s attorney, David Perry, appeared he was laying the groundwork for a defense based on his client feeling threatened by the trespassers and taking reasonable measures to respond to that threat.

One blow to the defense came out of Thursday’s testimony by a Cache County sheriff’s investigator. Lt. Von Williamson said not only did the three men possibly go beyond what’s allowed under law to stop trespassers, but they didn’t even [have] a right to stop anyone because the St. Anne’s Retreat is on leased U.S. Forest Service land.

“According to their special-use permit, they are not authorized to prevent people from walking on their property,” Williamson said.

Wyatt also said Jeppson, who was allowed by the wonders of the retreat’s buildings to tend the property, was never given permission by them to act as a security guard.

“The message here is don’t defend someone else’s property without their permission,” he said.

The men are scheduled to be arraigned March 23.

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