Former Mormon missionary facing rape charges
A former LDS Church missionary accused of having sexual contact with a girl under age 14 has pleaded not guilty to multiple rape charges.
Brandon Scott Cordero entered the pleas to two counts of first-degree felony of rape of a child on Feb. 14 in Davis County's 2nd District Court.
The charges carry a possible penalty of life in prison.
In court papers, Davis County prosecutors contend the 20-year-old from Kaysville attempted to have sex with the girl multiple times between Nov. 23, 2010, and May 31, 2012, by placing his penis in or near her vagina.
Cordero's attorney, Michael S. Edwards, declined to comment on the case when contacted by The Salt Lake Tribune on Monday evening, and a message to Cordero's family was not returned.
The alleged abuse took place prior to Cordero serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, church spokesman Scott Trotter said in a prepared statement.
"Elder Brandon Scott Cordero was released from his mission and sent home immediately when the charges against him came to light," Trotter said.
Church leaders are cooperating with authorities in the investigation, and counseling is also being made available to the victim and family members, Trotter said.
Davis County Jail records show Cordero was arrested on Feb. 4. Bail is set at $100,000, and Cordero remained in jail Monday evening, according to a jail booking officer.
Davis County prosecutors filed the criminal charges on Feb. 8, court records show. Cordero waived his right to a preliminary hearing during an initial court appearance that same day.
No trial date has been set, but another hearing in the case is scheduled for March 14 before Judge Thomas L. Kay in Farmington.
Court records also indicate a criminal protective order has also been filed in the case.