LOGAN — A 29-year-old Murray man has been bound over for trial on charges of allegedly enticing a teenage girl in Cache Valley. Jacob R. Goeckeritz didn’t speak, before a judge determined there was sufficient evidence against him.
Goeckeritz participated in a virtual preliminary hearing in 1st District Court Wednesday afternoon, appearing by Webex. He was previously charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony; and one count of enticing a minor over the internet, a third-degree felony.
As part of the prosecution’s case, Logan City Police Detective Kyle VanAmen testified about receiving a CyberTip from Facebook in March. The social media company had detected messages between Goeckeritz and a 15-year-old girl. The chats included pictures of the girl in various stages of undress and naked.
As evidence, Cache County Deputy Attorney Dane Murray provided the court with 300 pages of chat messages between Goeckeritz and the alleged victim. Many of the conversations were sexual in nature, including discussions about the defendant wanting to drive to the Logan area to have sex with the girl.
VanAmen testified that while investigating the case, he called Goeckeritz and questioned him about the messages. The suspect denied the allegations and claimed that his Facebook account may have been hacked.
Defense attorney John Walsh argued that there wasn’t specific evidence of his client asking the victim to send him naked pictures of herself. He claimed the girl’s messages were unprovoked by the defendant.
Murray argued, Goeckeritz actively chatted with the girl and the posts were not one-sided. He had VanAmen read several messages where the defendant graphically described his sexual intentions.
Goeckeritz did not testify but occasionally spoke to his attorney during the one-hour hearing.
Judge Brian Cannell ruled prosecutors had provided adequate evidence to show the crimes occurred. He ordered Goeckeritz to stand trial on all six charges and appear again in court September 1.
Goeckeritz was arrested in May after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was booked temporarily into the Cache County Jail before posting $10,000 bail. He could face up to 15-years in prison if convicted.
Individuals arrested and charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.