Utah man accused of molesting boys pleads guilty
A litany of charges were dropped Friday against a 40-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting several boys over several years after he pleaded guilty to one charge.
William Patrick Estell pleaded guilty Friday to one count of committing sodomy on a child a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.
In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop eight additional felonies against him, four counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, three counts of forcible sodomy and forcible sexual abuse.
Estell has been accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy at a 2008 sleepover, groping young boys as he wrestled with them at his apartment complex, harassing a 12-year-old boy at a concert in EnergySolutions Arena and engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old boy at a park near the Jordan River Parkway.
But the only charge to which Estell pleaded guilty was the one involving the 10-year-old at the sleepover. The rest were dropped.
Estelle's defense attorney, Nick Falcone, has insisted there is not enough evidence to convict Estell of the charges and pointed to holes in the boys' stories at a preliminary hearing earlier this year.
Falcone also alleged the boys, one of whom was charged in 2008 for allgedly beating and urinating on Estell, repeatedly assaulted Estell and made up the alleged abuse.
According to police, Estell admitted to molesting three boys in 2008 and told detectives there had been other boys as many as 18 over the course of 20 years. No evidence was found to substantiate that number.
Charges were filed against Estell in November 2012, after he allegedly told his probation officer and therapist about a sexual encounter he had with a young man he believed to be 18, officials have said.
At the time, Estell was on probation in connection with a 2010 sexual battery case involving a teen, according to testimony.
Estell, who has been in custody since his 2012 arrest, will be sentenced in January before 3rd District Judge Deno Himonas.