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New alleged victim in Syracuse sex-abuse investigation

Published April 12, 2012 3:34 pm

Police • Suspect is a registered sex offender who possessed child porn.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Syracuse police on Thursday were interviewing a third alleged child sex-abuse victim — a girl who came forward following the Wednesday arrest of a Layton man.

Robert Lloyd Zesiger, 30, was booked into the Davis County Jail on suspicion of one count of aggravated sexual assault and three counts of forcible sexual abuse. He was also being held for violating his probation with federal authorities for possessing child pornography.

Syracuse police Lt. Tracy Jensen said a 14-year-old girl from Syracuse told her parents about being sexually abused by Zesiger. During an interview with police, the girl brought up the name of another 14-year-old neighbor girl who might have also been involved with Zesiger.

Jensen said one of the incidents possibly involved a weapon being used against one of the victims.

All three of the alleged victims knew Zesiger through mutual friends, police said.

Jensen said Thursday that it was an interest in horses that led the girls to meet the man.

"They liked horses ... and to feed horses," Jensen said.

Two of the girls met Zesiger, who was helping a female friend who taught the girls about the animals, at the Syracuse City Equestrian Park.

"Basically he befriended them over time and sexually abused the two girls," Jensen said Wednesday, adding that based on Zesiger's past history "these may not be the only victims."

Zesiger, a registered sex offender in Utah since his 2007 federal conviction for possessing child pornography, has a history of sex crimes involving children.

Zesiger pleaded guilty in 2004 to a lesser charge of class B misdemeanor of attempted lewdness involving a child, according to court records. In 2007, he was convicted of a 2005 offense of attempted sexual abuse of a child, a third-degree felony.

Syracuse police urge anyone who may have been victimized by Zesiger to come forward and contact them at 801-825-4400.

cimaron@sltrib.com

Twitter: @CimCity