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Husband of Nu-Skin co-founder pleads not guilty to sex abuse

Published July 19, 2013 6:06 pm

Courts • Judge sets Nov. 4 trial date for Robert Clark McKell.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

A November trial date has been set for the husband of the co-founder of Provo-based skin care company Nu Skin accused of sexually abusing an 18-year-old woman.

Robert Clark McKell, 52, of Springville, pleaded not guilty Friday to two charges of object rape and one count of forcible sodomy, all first-degree felonies.

McKell entered the not-guilty pleas in 4th District Court after Judge Claudia Laycock heard testimony from the alleged victim and law enforcement officials during a day-long preliminary hearing.

McKell was originally charged with an additional count of object rape and two counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse, but Laycock dismissed the three charges after insufficient evidence was presented in court, according to defense attorney Tara Isaacson.

According to a probable cause statement filed in 4th District Court, the 18-year-old accused McKell of sexually abusing her on several occasions between January and March of this year. The alleged abuse included touching the teen's genitals and breasts, despite the woman allegedly telling McKell, "No," according to the court documents.

A four-day trial, to begin Nov. 4, also was set Friday for McKell, who was released from the Utah County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

In April, McKell told The Salt Lake Tribune that the accusations against him are false. He will be back in court again for a pretrial conference on Oct. 23.

McKell is married to Nu Skin co-founder Nedra Roney McKell. In 1996, Roney McKell, who was then known as Nedra Roney Tischner, was charged with three third-degree felony counts of prescription fraud and another count of insurance fraud. She eventually entered a plea in abeyance to the charges and received three years of probation. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charges after she completed the probationary period.

Nedra Roney McKell has not worked for Nu Skin since the late 1980s and is no longer a major shareholder in the company, said Nu Skin's Corporate Communications Director Kara Schneck.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller