SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah – Attorneys on both sides have reached a potential deal in which a teen accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Sandy will spend time incarcerated in both the juvenile and adult systems.
Thursday’s court proceeding was set aside for prosecutors to argue why the teen suspect should be certified as an adult and have this matter moved in to the adult court system.
But in somewhat of a surprise, both the DA and defense teams announced they’ve reached a potential resolution to all of this.
The 15-year-old defendant is now set to plead guilty in juvenile court to one count of aggravated kidnapping.
He will also plead guilty to one count of aggravated sexual assault in adult court.
After serving the remainder of his time in juvenile detention, likely until he’s 21, he will then begin serving a term of at least 10 years, and possibly 15 years to life, in the adult prison system.
All of this stems from a vicious attack on a woman along a Sandy jogging trail back in March.
The victim says the teen approached her and asked if he could use her cell phone.
According to the charges, he proceeded to beat, choke and sexually assault the victim during an attack lasting nearly an hour.
The woman told detectives she believed she was going to be killed during the ordeal.
The suspect eventually stopped the attack, and took off.
But in a matter of a few days, police had identified and arrested him. He’s been in juvenile custody ever since.
Prosecutors say they have consulted extensively with the victim and her family about this plea deal. They told the judge Thursday she wants this case resolved and does not want to testify at trial. The victim faced the suspect in a court hearing earlier this year.
The suspect kept his head down and didn’t say a word during Thursday's proceeding.
This case isn’t a done deal just yet—the agreement will have to be approved by the juvenile court judge and a district court judge.
All sides are due back in court August 28. As the suspect remains in the juvenile system at present, his identity has not been released.