Prospector man accused of sexually molesting 7-year-old girl |

Prospector man accused of sexually molesting 7-year-old girl

Prosecutors have accused a Park City man of sexually molesting a child in his Prospector apartment, charging that the man twice engaged in illicit acts with a 7-year-old girl.

John W. Jenkins, who is 65 years old, faces one count of sodomy on a child and two counts of sexual abuse of a child. The sodomy on a child charge is a first-degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence of between five years and life and a $10,000 fine upon conviction. The other charges are second-degree felonies, which could carry a prison sentence of between one and 15 years and fines of $10,000 if he is convicted.

Jenkins appeared in court on Monday and another court date is scheduled June 28. He has not entered a plea. A bondsman posted $100,000 bail for his release after the Park City Police Department arrested Jenkins at his apartment on May 14. A police investigator said officers searched for Jenkins for approximately one week before arresting him. He was outside of Utah just before his arrest, the investigator said.

"These are tough cases because they are emotionally difficult for everyone involved," Summit County Attorney David Brickey said.

A three-page charging document filed in Third District Court at Silver Creek claims illicit acts occurred between Jenkins and the girl in April. After one of the occasions, Jenkins gave her four quarters, the charging document claims.

According to prosecutors, the girl told her older sister about Jenkins. The older sister then provided the information to a school counselor, the charging document says.

"Her depiction of what happened to her was accurate and thorough," Brickey said, adding that the girl is a credible witness.

The county attorney declined to discuss how Jenkins and the girl know each other.

The Salt Lake City attorney representing Jenkins did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Arrests on charges relating to sex offenses are rare in Park City, but they spiked in 2009, according to the Police Department’s annual crime reports. In 2009, the police report said, 16 adults were arrested on some sort of charge involving a sex offense. The 2009 tally was up from five in 2008 and six in 2007, according to the annual crime reports from those years. The vast majority of people arrested in Park City on sex-offense charges have been men.

If the case advances against Jenkins, a preliminary hearing could eventually be scheduled. A judge oversees preliminary hearings and then decides whether there is enough evidence for prosecutors to take a case to trial. The standards a prosecutor must meet to convince a judge to bind someone over for trial are not as strict as they are for a jury to convict someone. A defendant could waive the right to a preliminary hearing as well and instead proceed to trial.

Longtime Park City people might recall Jenkins as a hot dog skier from years ago and as a bartender.

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