Jury deliberates fate of men accused of gang-raping a 9-year-old girl

SALT LAKE CITY — A jury is deliberating in the trial of three men accused of gang-raping a 9-year-old girl.

Jerry Flatlip, Randall Flatlip and Larson RonDeau are charged with first-degree felony child rape and sodomy on a child. The men are accused of attacking the girl on Easter Sunday in 2016 while her mother smoked methamphetamine in the garage of a Vernal home.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Randall Flatlip, attorney Brain Sidwell and Jerry Flatlip, in court at the Matheson Court House in Salt Lake City. Larson RonDeau, 38, Jerry Flatlip, 31, and Randall Flatlip, 28, were charged in 8th District Court with one count each of first-degree felony rape of a child and first-degree felony sodomy upon a child. Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

Uintah County prosecutors acknowledged to the jury the case had little DNA or physical evidence, but urged them to consider the testimony of the girl.

“Her story was consistent all the way through even during examination, cross-examination,” Uintah County Attorney Mark Thomas said in his closing statements.

But defense attorneys pointed to a lack of physical evidence at the alleged crime scene or significant signs of violence to the girl as a sign of innocence.

“You can infer from the fact that they provided none of that kind of evidence that it never existed,” Jerry Flatlip’s attorney, Loni DeLand, told the jury on Tuesday.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Larson RonDeau enters the courtroom for the first day of the trial at the Matheson Court House in Salt Lake City. Larson RonDeau, 38, Jerry Flatlip, 31, and Randall Flatlip, 28, were charged in 8th District Court with one count each of first-degree felony rape of a child and first-degree felony sodomy upon a child. Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

The jury of five men and three women began deliberating about 2 p.m. on Tuesday, shortly after closing statements. Jurors went home for the day around 5 p.m. and planned to resume deliberations on Wednesday.

The case was originally moved from Vernal to Silver Summit to ensure a fair trial. Then a mistrial was declared and it was moved to Salt Lake City after a number of potential jurors in the Park City area failed to show up for jury duty.