LaVerkin man on probation for child abuse is charged with rape, forcible sexual abuse

Police vehicles in LaVerkin, Utah, June 15, 2019 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A LaVerkin man on probation for a previous case of child abuse will appear in court this week on rape and other sexual abuse charges after he allegedly sexually assaulted a minor on multiple occasions.

Cameron Prisbrey, 33, is scheduled to appear in 5th District Court Tuesday for a roll call hearing on two first-degree felonies, including rape and forcible sodomy, as well as three second-degree felony counts of forcible sexual abuse.

The charges stem from an investigation that began May 11 when police were called on an alleged rape involving Prisbrey and a minor teenage girl. Through the course of the investigation, LaVerkin Police learned there were at least three separate incidents of sexual abuse over the course of a year, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of Prisbrey’s arrest.

During an interview with police, Prisbrey initially denied all allegations against him but later admitted to touching the youth “when he was lonely,” according to the statement.

Prisbrey was subsequently arrested and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility where he was held on $50,000 bail. On May 28 the defendant posted bond and was released from custody after his bail was reduced to $20,000, according to court records.

At the time the charges were filed by the Washington County Attorney’s Office, the defendant was on a “plea in abeyance” agreement with the court on a previous case in which he was charged with third-degree felony witness tampering and simple, intentional child abuse, a class A misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty to the child abuse charge, and the tampering charge was dismissed, according to court records.

Cameron Prisbrey, 33, of LaVerkin, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, May 11, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

According to the plea agreement that was signed Feb. 4, the charge would be dismissed if the defendant committed no law violations and satisfied the terms of a 24-month probation, including attending a life skills course and maintaining full-time employment.

The child abuse charge stems from an incident reported to police June 17, 2018, involving Prisbrey’s 5-year-old daughter who had an injury to her face after reportedly being slapped, according to the probable cause statement filed with 5th District Court.

Officers noted a red mark on the girl’s cheek, and when questioned by police, the child told the officers that Prisbrey slapped her for accidentally shutting a dog’s head in the door, a story that was later recounted by the child’s 10-year-old brother. The boy also told police the defendant would make them drink a medicine-cup of hot sauce or vinegar when they get into trouble, according to the statement.

Later, when a caseworker from the Division of Children and Family Services arrived at the home accompanied by police, they were met outside by the 10-year-old who told them the little girl was in trouble for telling authorities about the incident, which Prisbrey allegedly denied minutes later when he stepped outside of the residence.

When confronted about hitting the child, police say he admitted to “spanking her on her butt” and when they tried to interview the 5-year-old a second time, officers found her acting “completely differently,” and she denied telling police anything. When officers asked her if she felt safe in the home, investigators state that the little girl said “no” but wouldn’t give a reason.

When the caseworker spoke to the child later, she recounted the events that allegedly took place, saying that her dad smacked her in the face for accidentally shutting the dog’s head in the door and spanked her later for “lying to police about her dad hitting her,” adding that she “gets vinegar in her mouth when she is bad.”

Officers later received information involving a series of text messages sent to a third party in which the defendant allegedly wrote that he was angry about the dog’s head getting shut in the door and he reacted too quickly, writing that he “accidentally hit her,” according to the statement.

“But I slapped her with an open hand, I didn’t punch her – that should help right?” he allegedly wrote in the text, continuing that he yelled at the child to “pay attention” to what she was doing and that he “pushed her to the ground.”

Prisbrey was arrested and booked into jail later that night. The outcome of the case is still pending in the courts, as the 24-month plea in abeyance probation period has yet to run its course.

This report is based on statements from police and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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