A tentative partial settlement has been approved in the federal suits against Ernest B. Wilcock, the former Utah Highway Patrol trooper who admitted molesting a woman while on duty.

A reliable source said the state of Utah paid each victim $27,000.Attorney Steve Russell said the tentative agreement applies to three of four of the plaintiffs: Jane Anglin, Diane Dominguez and Amy Shaefer. Claims by another plaintiff, Margaret Hill, have not been settled.

Asked whether a trial will be held, Russell said, "If there's not a settlement there will be. We have completed our discovery work so we are ready to go."

A few details remain to be worked out in the settled cases, which are under the jurisdiction of U.S. District Judges David Sam and J. Thomas Greene. Greene is also overseeing the Hill suit.

Russell said Anglin, Dominguez and Shaefer are glad to have the suit resolved, "and I think they're happy with the terms as well."

Wilcock is serving a term in prison for forcible sexual abuse. Sentenced to serve 0-5 years, he was ordered in May to spend the full five years behind bars - meaning he will be freed on March 12, 1992.

On Feb. 8, 1987, Wilcock picked up Shaefer, 20, Holladay, on a downtown street and offered her a ride home. She fled in the trooper's patrol car after he tried to sexually abuse her.

Wearing his UHP uniform, Wilcock fired 13 shots at the fleeing vehicle from his pistol, but missed.

After investigation of other incidents, Wilcock was charged with two counts of rape, two counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of aggravated assault. These charges were dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea to the lesser offense.

Wilcock was fired nearly as soon as the first public accusation against him was announced in February. That was when Shaefer told a deputy sheriff that Wilcock made sexual advances and fired his pistol at her when she escaped in his patrol car.

In April 1987, Wilcock pleaded guilty to forcible sexual abuse in the Shaefer case. He was sentenced to five years in prison and later was transferred to the Rich County Jail. Meanwhile, Shaefer and other women filed civil suits in U.S. District Court, saying Wilcock victimized them.