Gavel. Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash
LOGAN — A 31-year-old man has been bound over for trial for allegedly groping a healthcare worker while she was trying to test him for COVID-19. Michael A. Black has been in the Cache County Jail since being arrested May 3.
Black participated in a virtual preliminary hearing in 1st District Court Monday afternoon, appearing by Webex from jail. He was previously charged with one count of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony; and lewdness, a class B misdemeanor.
Logan City Police Detective Micah Vehrs testified how he was called to Intermountain Logan Regional Hospital on April 30. An emergency room nurse had reported being sexually assaulted by Black, who was a patient.
Vehrs said the alleged victim described to him how she had been providing medical care for the suspect, who was not cooperative. She claimed, while trying to administer the COVID-19 test, Black had to be restrained by two other healthcare workers and herself. Despite their efforts, the suspect got his hand free and placed it between her legs, inappropriately touching her.
The other healthcare workers provided corroborating statements to Vehrs. They also claimed, Black had been exposing and inappropriately touching himself while in the room prior to the COVID test.
Black did not testify during the hearing.
Judge Brandon Maynard ruled prosecutors had provided sufficient evidence to bind Black over for trial. He ordered the suspect to appear again in court July 26.
Public defender Joseph Saxton pleaded “not guilty” to the charges for his client.
Black is being held in jail without bail. He could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Individuals arrested and charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.