First District Courthouse in Logan.

LOGAN — A 37-year-old Nibley man suspected of groping female customers at a Logan grocery store has now been found competent to stand trial. Joshua J. Cress was arrested in 2020 and later booked into the Cache County Jail. The case against him was put on hold in June 2021, after doctors found him incompetent to understand the charges against him.

Cress participated in a review hearing in 1st District Court Wednesday morning, appearing by web conference from the Utah State Hospital. He was previously charged with forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony; and giving false personal identity to police, a class C misdemeanor.

Public defender Ryan Holdaway told the court, doctors had restored Cress’ competency. The defendant was now able to understand the judicial proceedings and adequately defend himself.

According to an arrest report, Logan City police officers were called to a grocery store December 21, 2020, after a woman claimed Cress had walked up behind her and grabbed her buttocks. The alleged victim notified her husband, who was with her at the time the assault took place.

The husband reportedly followed the individual through the store, while the woman notified employees, who contacted security.

When officers arrived on the scene, they spoke to the alleged suspect. He was hesitant to provide answers, tried to leave and gave police a false name.

According to the report, officers later located a wallet in Cress’ front pocket that contained his identification.

The store employee told officers that Cress had reportedly groped another female customer previously. He was seen wandering around the store, staring at customers and never purchasing any merchandise.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Brian Cannell agreed to release Cress from the state hospital and place him on pretrial supervision. He also ordered the defendant to have no contact with the alleged victim.

Cress didn’t speak during the hearing. He was ordered to appear again in court May 18 and could still face up to 15 years in prison, if convicted.

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