Uintah County sheriff’s sergeant being investigated for child sexual abuse

VERNAL — A Uintah County sheriff’s sergeant is being investigated following an accusation that he sexually abused a child at a birthday party in August, according to the sheriff’s office.

The sergeant is being investigated by the Utah Attorney General’s Office stemming from an alleged incident on Aug. 27, Uintah County Sheriff Vance Norton said.

The abuse is alleged to have occurred at a birthday party while the sergeant was off duty, Norton said. The sheriff was unsure of the girl’s exact age but indicated that she’s younger than 13.

The sergeant was placed on administrative leave the same day the sheriff’s office learned of the accusation, according to Norton. The agency immediately passed the investigation to the Utah Attorney General’s Office to avoid any conflict of interest.

“We feel that they’re doing a very thorough job, and I think that’s very appropriate for the allegations that have been made,” Norton said.

A protective order has since been filed against the sergeant in connection with the alleged incident, the sheriff added.

Norton expects a resolution to the investigation soon, though the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t been made privy to details about the case, he said. The agency will conduct its own investigation when the attorney general’s office has finished examining the case for potential criminal charges.

While he is on leave, the sergeant has no police powers and doesn’t have a police vehicle, Norton said. However, he has been allowed to perform other jobs such as cleaning and maintenance work.

“He’s not out in the public at all,” Norton said.

No other information about the circumstances of the case was available Friday.

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