AF chiropractor gets trial date for sex abuse charges

Published: 2011-03-11 16:11:53
Author: Jim Dalrymple | Daily Herald | March 10, 2011

An American Fork chiropractor accused of forcible sex abuse received a trial date Wednesday, though attorneys say they hope to resolve the case before the trial begins.

Grant Hildreth, 48, is scheduled to stand trial on June 20 and 22, with a pretrial hearing scheduled for June 7. But Hildreth's lawyer Carolyn E. Howard and Utah County prosecutor Alex Ludlow both said they hope to reach some sort of plea bargain before June. Howard said that she would only agree to a deal if Hildreth is charged with a misdemeanor.

"It would be ridiculous to win the appeal, get him out, and then get a felony," she said.

Hildreth was originally convicted by a jury in 2008, after a former employee testified that he fondled her while providing treatment for a bladder infection at his American Fork office. Three other women testified that he fondled them during visits at his office and at his Riverton home, but the jury found him not guilty on those charges.

But in November, the Utah Court of Appeals overturned that conviction. The court found that including the testimony of the three other accusers was unduly prejudicial against Hildreth. The prejudice outweighed the value of including such evidence, the court ruled.

Shortly after the Court of Appeals's decision, Hildreth -- who had been in prison for two and a half years since his conviction -- was given a new bail and eventually released. State prosecutors opted not to challenge the decision of the Court of Appeals.

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