Rape Suspect Released When Accuser Fails to Show

Rape Suspect Released When Accuser Fails to Show

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A Santaquin man accused of raping two teens has been released from jail after the prosecution could not supply the accuser to testify in one of the cases.

Jimmy G. Santiago, 20, was told by 4th District Court Judge Lynn W. Davis on Monday to have no contact with the accusers or their families.

Santiago had been in the Utah County Jail since April 14.

Since then, several preliminary hearings have been canceled or continued when the accusers failed to show.

At Monday's preliminary hearing involving a 17-year-old girl, Deputy Utah County Attorney David Sturgill did not contest the defense's motion to continue the hearing and a conditional release of Santiago on his own recognizance.

Sturgill told Judge Davis that a deputy served a subpoena to the accuser's last known address for her to appear Monday, but a relative at the residence refused to accept the service.

"We've spoken with her this morning, and we'll be meeting with her later today," Sturgill said. "Our intent is to move forward with both cases."

A scheduling conference to set a new date for back-to-back preliminary hearings for each rape case was set for July 27 at 10 a.m.

According to a probable cause statement, a 14-year-old girl told police Santiago repeatedly raped her and sexually assaulted her over a two-day period in April in a mobile home in Santaquin, where she sought refuge after running away from a Provo group home.

She said that to stay there, she had to sign a contract that the males at the residence could do whatever they wanted to her if she fell asleep with her shoes on.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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