Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Michele and Martin MacNeill
Judge won’t dismiss sex abuse charges against former doctor
Courts » Martin MacNeill, convicted of killing his wife, is accused of sexually abusing a family member.
First Published Jun 16 2014 02:05 pm • Last Updated Jun 16 2014 10:21 pm

Provo • A judge on Monday refused to dismiss a charge of forcible sex abuse against Martin MacNeill, the former doctor recently convicted of murdering his wife.

MacNeill’s attorney, Randall Spencer, had asked 4th District Judge Samuel McVey to dismiss the sex abuse case, arguing that the charge should be dismissed because of loss of evidence. According to the motion, a 2007 audio recording of the police interview with the alleged victim was inadvertently deleted after the recorder was placed into another case file.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Spencer argued in court on Monday that the audio recording was needed to defend MacNeill in what he deemed a "he-said, she-said sort of case."

"There’s much more on this recorded statement that we’ll never have and we just won’t get," Spencer argued.

But Deputy Utah County Attorney David Sturgill argued that while the recorded interview may have provided "useful information," there is no indication that the interview was a critical piece of evidence in the case.

"There’s been no evidence that there was any bad faith on the state’s part or even on the part of the Pleasant Grove police," Sturgill said. "It is truly unfortunate, but it does not rise to the level of bad faith."

McVey said before denying the motion that he felt that while there was some negligence in deleting the file, it was not "gross negligence" and it was not done in "bad faith."

In the sex abuse case, MacNeill is charged with one count of forcible sexual abuse, stemming from allegations that in 2007 he put his hands down a woman relative’s pants. A two-day trial is set to begin in July.

Spencer said in court that MacNeill denies that the alleged sex abuse occurred, and said that his defense will be "that it did not happen."

The judge also denied a motion to change venue for the sex abuse trial on Monday, and denied a motion to disqualify Utah County prosecutors from handling the case.

story continues below
story continues below

On Nov. 9, a jury convicted MacNeill of first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstruction of justice in the 2007 death of his wife, Michele MacNeill.

His sentencing in the murder case has been delayed, after his attorney filed a motion to arrest judgment — arguing that a federal inmate lied on the stand about a possible early release he received in exchange for his testimony, and that prosecutors did not disclose that a deal was in the works.

The federal inmate testified during MacNeill’s four-week trial that the defendant confessed to him that he drugged his 50-year-old wife, then drowned her in a bathtub at their Pleasant Grove home on April 11, 2007.

A judge will hear arguments in the murder case on June 30.


Twitter: @jm_miller

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.