Tuttle takes plea deal in Hanna child sex abuse case
By Trudy Balcom
RAWLINS — A Hanna man who pleaded not guilty to charges of first- and second-degree sexual abuse of a minor in May accepted a plea deal Monday.
Kevin Tuttle Jr., 34, was arraigned on a charge of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor inflicting sexual intrusion and a charge of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor inflicting sexual contact.
According to the plea letter, Tuttle will plead no contest to the second-degree charge, and the first-degree charge against him will be dropped.
Tuttle will serve between seven and 15 years in prison.
On Monday, the Carbon County District Court conducted competency hearings on the 6-year-old victim, and the victim’s 4-year-old sibling, an alleged witness.
Tuttle’s defense attorney, H. Michael Bennett, had objected to the children as witnesses in a motion filed on July 12.
The objection pointed to the children’s young age as a factor in their ability to act as reliable witnesses.
The victim, the objection stated, “has been subject to multiple adults in authority positions asking her questions regarding events.”
The victim, who was identified in court documents only by her initials, could “be simply reciting the same answers she expects these adults require,” the objection stated.
After the competency hearing held Monday, the court ruled that the 4-year-old was not a competent witness, but that the 6-year-old victim was.
The court document noted she demonstrated an ability to discern between truth and falsehood, and was aware of events in time, could readily identify people by name and so on.
Tuttle will be formally sentenced at a later date.