A judge has agreed to call a pool of up to 100 prospective jurors for the trial of state Sen. Darrell Renstrom, charged with forcible sexual abuse involving a 19-year-old North Ogden man.
At a pretrial conference Friday before 1st District Judge VeNoy Christofferson, attorneys agreed that a pool of potential jurors would be needed to ensure that an unprejudiced panel can be found in what defense attorney John Caine called "a widely publicized case."Weber County judges refused to hear the case because of their familiarity with Renstrom, D-Ogden. Further, Davis County Deputy Attorney Brian Namba is serving as prosecutor because of Weber Attorney Reed Richards' long association with Renstrom.
An attorney, Renstrom, 57, serves as public defender in many Ogden cases. Christofferson will preside over the trial, which opens Aug. 17 in 2nd District Court in Ogden. It is expected to last three days.
Renstrom is accused of picking up a 19-year-old man about 9:30 p.m., June 22, in Ogden. The youth told police Renstrom propositioned and fondled him in the car.
Renstrom has pleaded not guilty, saying while he did pick up Mitchell, who was hitchhiking, he did not proposition him or make a sexual advance.