Smithfield man suspected of raping 16-year-old girl waives preliminary hearing

First District Courthouse in Logan.

LOGAN — A 30-year-old Smithfield man has waived his right to a preliminary hearing and will be bound over for trial on allegations of having sex with a 16-year-old girl. Dwight R. Hooker was arrested last month and is currently being held in the Cache County Jail without bail.

Hooker participated in the virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday afternoon, appearing by web conference from jail. He was previously charged with one count of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony.

Defense attorney Wayne Caldwell told the court his client wished to waive his right to the preliminary hearing, where a judge would have determined whether or not prosecutors have sufficient evidence to bind the suspect over for trial. He said they were working out a possible plea deal but did not provide any further details.

According to Smithfield City police, Hooker posted on a Facebook page that he had “made a mistake during the end of last summer.” He described knowing the alleged victim was underage, but wrote that it wasn’t that bad.

The post said, “Any dude would have done it. If you say ‘no’ you are lying…It’s not like she was 8.”

Officers interviewed the alleged victim, who admitted to sexting with Hooker before meeting up with him. She described feeling uncomfortable during the encounter but Hooker forced her to stay. She said afterwards she felt used.

During Monday’s hearing, Hooker spoke briefly, telling the court he wished to waive his rights. He was ordered to appear again in court Oct. 18. The charge he is facing carries a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

Individuals arrested and charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.


will@cvradio.com

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