Tip leads to arrest of suspect wanted for alleged sex abuse of 4-year-old

File photo of Washington City Police on Red Hills Drive, Washington City, Utah, Feb. 21, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington City Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Washington City man accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl was arrested Tuesday after a tip led police to his location.

Rex Roberts, 64, of Washington City, booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah, July 2, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Rex Roberts, 64, who has been charged with first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child, was taken into custody at 3 p.m. during a traffic stop near Telegraph Street after officers received information he was staying at a residence in the area, Washington City Police Chief Jason Williams told St. George News.

“We had someone who called in with an address off of Telegraph,” Williams said. “So while officers were en route to that location, they spotted Roberts driving a white Jeep and made the stop.”

A warrant for his arrest was issued after a woman went to the Washington City Police Department in early May to report the alleged sex offense involving Roberts and the child.

The woman told police that she became aware of the alleged abuse when the child kept grabbing the woman’s hand and placing it near her groin area. When questioned, the child said Roberts touched her in that area while describing incidents of sexual abuse, according to the affidavit filed in support of the warrant.

Read more: Washington City man wanted for allegedly sexually abusing 4-year-old child

During an interview with Roberts, police say he denied the allegations and told officers he never touched the child inappropriately, explaining that arthritis would have prevented him from doing so.

Roberts told police he would be willing to take a polygraph, according to the affidavit, but when he was advised that the test was scheduled, he refused to come in, telling police he wanted to consult with an attorney first.

After the investigation, police submitted a probable cause statement to the court for review. Roberts was subsequently charged June 20, and the warrant was issued.

At the time the warrant was issued, police were unable to locate the defendant at his residence, Williams said, adding that officers continued following up on leads until the tip came in Tuesday.

Roberts was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane where he remains on $50,000 bail.

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.


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


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