Nibley man suspected of groping women at local grocery store found incompetent to stand trial

Gavel. Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

LOGAN — A 36-year-old Nibley man suspected of groping female customers at a Logan grocery store last year has been found incompetent to stand trial. Joshua J. Cress was arrested in December and later booked into the Cache County Jail temporarily.

Cress failed to appear for a review hearing in 1st District Court, Wednesday morning. He was previously charged with forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony; and Giving False Personal Identity To Police, a class C misdemeanor.

Public defender Ryan Holdaway told the court, Cress had been evaluated by medical professionals, who determined he was unable to understand the court process and adequately defend himself.

Cache County Deputy Attorney Dane Murray asked for Cress to be ordered to the Utah State Medical Hospital, so physicians can attempt to restore competency.

According to an arrest report, Logan City police officers were called to a grocery store December 21, after a woman claimed Cress had walked up behind her and grabbed her buttocks. The alleged victim notified her husband, who was with her at the time the assault took place.

The husband reportedly followed the individual through the store, while the woman notified employees, who contacted security.

When officers arrived on the scene, they spoke to the alleged suspect. He was hesitant to provide answers, tried to leave and gave police a false name.

According to the report, officers later located a wallet in Cress’ front pocket that contained his identification.

The store employee told officers that Cress had reportedly groped another female customer previously. He was seen wandering around the store, staring at customers and never purchasing any merchandise.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Brian Cannell agreed with the medical evaluation and asked prosecutors to file the paperwork for Cress to be taken to the state hospital.

The evaluation’s findings mean that the charges against Cress will remain pending, until it is determined whether or not competency can be restored. He could still 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.

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