LOGAN — A 43-year-old Wellsville man has waived his rights to a preliminary hearing and will be bound over on charges that he allegedly sexually abused two girls for years. Steven E. Lambert has been in the Cache County Jail since being arrested in June.
Lambert participated in a virtual hearing 1st District Court Tuesday afternoon, appearing by web conference from jail. He was previously charged with 15 felonies, including five counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, five counts of sodomy, three counts of rape, and other crimes.
Public defender Mike McGinnis said, after discussions with prosecutors, he and his client felt it was in their best interest to waive the preliminary hearing, where a judge would have determined whether or not there was sufficient evidence to bind Lambert over for trial. He also entered pleas of “not guilty” to each charge.
According to an arrest report, Logan City police officers began investigating Lambert after a woman reported being sexually abused by him while she was a teenager. She claimed, he molested and raped her from the time she was 12-years-old until graduating high school.
As the investigation continued, a second victim came forward, claiming she was also sexually abused by Lambert when she was 8-years-old. A third victim and other individuals were also interviewed, providing information and corroborating the women’s allegations.
Investigators claim the victims were all acquaintances of Lambert, who was considered to be a person of trust. The crimes occurred around 2007 – 2011.
Police interviewed Lambert as part of their investigation. After advising him of his Miranda Rights, he reportedly admitted to having sexual relations with the first victim, often three times a week. He denied though having any sexual conduct with others.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Judge Angela Fonnesbeck questioned Lambert about whether or not he was willing to waive the preliminary hearing. She explained that doing so would mean that he was automatically bound over on all of the charges prosecutors had filed.
Lambert spoke briefly, telling the court he had met with his attorney and was willing to waive his rights to the hearing.
McGinnis asked the court for some time to work out a possible plea agreement. He said prosecutors were planning to meet with the alleged victims and discuss the case further.
Lambert was ordered to appear again in court Sept. 7. He is currently being held in jail without bail and could face up to life in prison if convicted.
Individuals arrested and charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.