SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Ron Gibson, the former Utah Farm Bureau Federation president, is facing a misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly backhanding a farm worker.
Court documents filed in Weber County show Gibson was arraigned last week and pleaded not guilty to the charge. This development comes less than a month after the charge was dismissed by a judge. According to the documents, this was due to the charge originally being filed in the wrong jurisdiction.
According to court documents, the alleged assault happened on Aug. 8, when a worker reported to 911 that he’d been assaulted at Green Acres Farm in Ogden, which Gibson owns.
Witnesses showed a responding Weber County deputy a video, wherein Gibson could be seen telling a man to shut up in Spanish before backhanding him across the face.
The strike allegedly left the man with a bloodied mouth and knocked out tooth. According to the charging document, the man also required medical treatment after the incident.
According to court documents, when the deputy asked Gibson what happened, he stated he slapped the worker because he “wouldn’t be cooperative,” adding that other workers had also been harassing him.
The incident prompted him to take a leave of absence from his position with the Utah Farm Bureau Federation. He later resigned from the organization and as a board member of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Gibson is next slated to make his next court appearance on Nov. 15.