Duchesne County resident faces charges 24 years after alleged sex abuse

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15 2014 3:53 p.m. MST

DUCHESNE — A Duchesne County resident is behind bars following a 14-month investigation into allegations of child sex abuse that date back to 1989.

Susan Elizabeth Rye, 60, is charged in 8th District Court with three counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony. The charges stem from alleged abuse that took place two decades ago when Rye was known as Randall Donald Rye.

"He said his name was Susan Elizabeth Rye, so we addressed him as Susan," Duchesne County sheriff's detective Dela Rowley said.

Court records show Rye changed names in January 2009. When he was booked into jail last week under his legal name, Rye identified himself as male, Duchesne County Sheriff's Lt. Jeremy Curry said.

Rye is accused of sexually abusing a female relative in 1989 and 1990, when the girl was about 5 years old. The alleged victim came forward for the first time in October 2012 after months of counseling, Rowley said.

"She was afraid there might be other victims," the detective said.

Over the next year, investigators interviewed a number of people, including Rye. He provided detectives with corroborating information about one alleged incident of abuse, Rowley said.

"He remembers bits and pieces of it, but he says he doesn't recall all of it," the detective said.

Once the investigation was completed last month, Rowley presented the case for prosecution.

"We gave it to the county attorney, and he had to go back in the law books to the years 1989, 1990 to be able to prosecute," the detective said.

A phone message left for Rye's defense attorney Wednesday was not returned. A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 23. Rye remains in the Duchesne County Jail.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com

Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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