Judge refuses to grant bail for frat member accused of rape

LOGAN — A judge has refused to grant bail for a 27-year-old fraternity member accused of raping two girls, as prosecutors consider adding more charges.

Judge Brian Cannell spoke to Jason B. Relopez in the Cache County Jail through a closed-circuit video Thursday afternoon. He ordered him to make a formal appearance in 1st District Court Tuesday morning and assigned him public defender.

Relopez has been charged with aggravated sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping and rape, all first-degree felonies. He was arrested Tuesday after a woman claimed he raped her multiple times while she was attending a party at the Sigma Chi fraternity house, in July.

Outside the courtroom, state attorney Barbara Lachmar said prosecutors are considering filing more charges.

“We charged aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping one victim #1,” said Lachmar. “We charged rape on victim #2 and then we are screening a third victim and we will see if there are charges on that or not. We don’t know yet.”

Police said the victims range in age between 19 and 20-years-old.

Lachmar said the rape charge stems from an assault in October 2014. The charges of sexual assault and kidnapping are because prosecutors believe Relopez did more than just rape the most recent victim in July.

“So that requires the state to prove that she was sexually assaulted and that in the course of the assault, excessive force was used or threats of eminent excessive force were used, or that she was detained against her will for a substantial period of time,” said Lachmar. “So there are additional elements over and above the rape charge that we have to prove on that case.”

Lachmar said prosecutors don’t believe Relopez should be released from jail while the trial moves forward and will continue to argue for the highest bail possible.

Relopez has been suspended from both Utah State University and the Sigma Chi fraternity, pending the outcome of the criminal case against him.

<hr /> <p style=”text-align: center;”>will@cvradio.com

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