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Husband of NuSkin co-founder claims rape arrest based on false allegation

Published April 20, 2013 6:41 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The husband of the Utah-based skin care company NuSkin on Saturday claimed his arrest this week on suspicion of multiple sex crimes was based on false allegations.

"Everything I am accused of is false," Robert Clark McKell told The Salt Lake Tribune in a telephone call.

McKell, 52, who lives in Springville, denied the allegations before referring the newspaper to his Salt Lake City-based attorney, Tara Isaacson. Isaacson did not immediately respond to an e-mail message sent Saturday.

McKell was arrested and booked into the Utah County jail on suspicion of felony object rape, forcible sodomy and four counts of sexual battery. He spent about 24 hours in jail before posting a $50,000 bond, jail records show.

No formal charges had been filed against McKell and a telephone message seeking details of the arrest from a Utah County Sheriff's Office spokesman was not immediately returned on Saturday.

Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon declined to provide specific details about the investigation that led to McKell's arrest. However, Cannon said the case had been reviewed by Utah County prosecutors on April 16 and the sheriff's office expects criminal charges could be filed against McKell in the coming days.

Cannon said McKell surrendered voluntarily to authorities at the jail after he was contacted by police and prosecutors.

Sheriff's office policy does not allow probable cause statements filed with the jail by investigators to support McKell's arrest to be released except by the court, a jail booking officer said.

McKell is married to NuSkin co-founder Nedra Roney McKell ­— previously Nedra Roney Tischner — who founded the international company with her brother, Blake Roney. In 1996, she was charged with multiple counts of prescription fraud and a single count of insurance fraud. In exchange for a guilty plea in abeyance, she was sentenced to three years probation, after which the charges were dismissed. Nedra Roney McKell has not worked for NuSkin since since the late 1980s and is no longer a major shareholder in the company, NuSkin's Corporate Communications Director Kara Schneck said.

Court records show Robert Clark McKell's arrest came nine days after a woman filed a petition for a protective order against him in Provo's 4th District Court.

A judge denied the petition because it was not signed by the applicant.

jdobner@sltrib.com