Attorney for Utah man accused of sexually abusing young boy says story was made up

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UPDATE: 5/22/2020 – The attorney for Arthur Ford Jepperson, a Wasatch County man arrested for allegations he sexually abused a 13-year-old boy on a camping trip, says the story was made up as retaliation from a former business partner.

Ben Johnson, attorney for Jepperson, said his client was vindicated in this case after prosecutors declined to press charges after their investigation.  

According to Johnson, a former business partner, who has been charged in court with stealing from their company, made up the story because the partner was upset he wasn’t allowed to buy out the business after being fired for theft.

“On the day he learned that he couldn’t buyout my client, he called the police and made the allegations of child molestation,” Said Johnson. “The claim lodged against my client is nothing but retaliation and there is no evidence that independently corroborates the allegations.”  

A record search for Jepperson shows he was never charged by prosecutors in this case.

Previous story –

UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A 59-year-old is in custody after he reportedly sexually abused a teenage boy on a hunting trip.

A family told officials on June 26 that their son, who police say is under the age of 13 told them a family friend had sexually abused him while they were on a hunting trip in Utah County in 2018.

The boy told detectives and workers with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services that Arthur Ford Jepperson of Wallsburg in Wasatch County touched him inappropriately under his clothes, according to officials.

The boy told detectives that it felt like something “broke off” inside him. He also told investigators that Jepperson told him that he was an adult now because he was on the hunting trip and that that was what adults did.

The boy continued to tell investigators that Jepperson told him not to report what had happened or tell any adults or Jepperson would harm him physically, according to officials.

Officials said, Jepperson also made other threats to the victim about what he would to him if the boy told anyone.

The boy sustained physical injury and significant emotional trauma from the incident, according to officials.

Detectives said it took them two weeks to find and arrest Jepperson.

Jepperson was booked into the Utah County Jail on charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and tampering with a witness.

Officials say Jepperson’s bail was set at $30,000 cash or bond.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have been victimized by Jepperson to contact The Utah County Sheriff’s Office at (801)794-3970 or contact your local law enforcement agency.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-888-421-1100. 

Click here for tools on how to help prevent child sexual abuse.

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