Trial set for Mantua man charged with molesting young girl while babysitting

Booking photo of Ira M. Mathison (Courtesy: Cache County Jail).

LOGAN — A trial has been scheduled for a 44-year-old Mantua man charged with molesting a young girl while babysitting her at his trailer home. Ira M. Mathison was arrested in December and booked into the Cache County Jail.

Mathison appeared in 1st District Court Monday afternoon for an evidentiary hearing. He was previously charged with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony. The crimes allegedly occurred in December 2017 and February 2018, while he lived in Logan.

Prosecutors played a video of police interviewing Mathison, recorded prior to his arrest. During the beginning of the hour-long interrogation, the defendant denied the young girl’s claim that he had touched her private parts. Later, he said he might have mistook the victim for his wife, while they were laying on his bed watching TV.

As the investigator continued his questioning, Mathison called the incidents simple mistakes that he didn’t do on purpose. He later admitted to touching the girl briefly each time for about a minute.

While prosecutors played their video evidence, Mathison sat, with his head down. He never spoke.

Defense attorney Mike McGinnis told the court he plans to file a motion, requesting to dismiss the video as evidence. He explained that police never disclosed why they were interviewing the defendant prior to issuing him his Miranda Rights. He also said his client didn’t specifically confess to the alleged crimes.

Judge Thomas Willmore said he would consider McGinnis’ motion but explained he wanted to move the case forward. He scheduled the two day jury trial to begin November 6.

Mathison is being held on $40,000 bail. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.

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