ST. GEORGE — An Oregon man has been booked into jail in Washington County after sheriff’s deputies flew to northeastern Oregon and brought the suspect back to Utah to answer to multiple charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child.
The arrest and extradition stems from an investigation that began in December when Washington County Sheriff’s detectives were called in to follow up on a report that a young girl under the age of 10 was allegedly sexually abused by an extended family member, according to charging documents filed in 5th District Court.
According to the report, the incidents took place over a 12-month period starting in June 2019 and continued into the summer of last year while the girl and her family were living in Washington County. The report also states incidents took place at another relative’s house in the St. George area.
While speaking with a forensic interview in Enterprise, Oregon, the child disclosed that the suspect, later identified as 51-year-old Michael Alexis, had inappropriately touched the child and had exposed himself to her — incidents that took place on multiple occasions while the family was living in Utah.
At the end of January. detectives called Alexis at his home in Wallowa County, located in northeastern Oregon.
The report states that when the detective disclosed the reason for the call, Alexis denied the allegations “and promptly informed me he had nothing more to say to me without an attorney present,” the detective wrote.
Based on the suspect’s unwillingness to cooperate with the investigation, the detective submitted a warrant for Alexis’s arrest so he could be brought to face the charges that were filed by the Washington County Attorney’s Office on March 29, including four first-degree felony counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child.
The warrant was signed on March 31 and the suspect was arrested and brought back to Washington County where he was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility.
Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. David Crouse told St. George News that once the suspect was in custody, detectives from Washington County flew to Oregon and brought the suspect back.
“That’s typically how it works,” he said. “The investigating agency that has the warrant will fly to whichever state the suspect is living in and bring them back.”
Alexis arrived in Utah last Tuesday and appeared before District Judge G. Michael Westfall via video for an initial appearance. During the hearing, Aric Cramer was appointed to defend the suspect while Prosecutor Mark Barlow will be representing the state.
The suspect is scheduled to appear in court May 5 for a bail review hearing and he remains in jail without bail until then.
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