U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene is considering a request to dismiss part of a suit filed as a result of the sexual misconduct of former Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Ernest Wilcock.
Wilcock is serving a five-year term at Utah State Prison for his guilty plea to a reduced charge of attempted forcible sexual abuse, stemming from a 1987 incident. Recently the state settled three of four suits filed in the case, agreeing to pay Amy Shaefer $85,000, and Jane Anglin and Diane Dominguez $27,000 each.Action is pending in the suit by Margaret Hill, whose claim was not settled.
Greene heard arguments Thursday on a dismissal motion by Robert Wallace, lawyer for Dr. Eric Nielsen. Nielsen performed a pre-employment psychological assessment on Wilcock, plaintiffs say, and advised hiring Wilcock.
Kathryn Collard, lawyer for plantiffs, argued against dismissing the action. She said a background check was done on Wilcock but Nielsen never asked to see it.
Greene asked whether the check would have shown anything to alert UHP officials that Wilcock was a bad risk.
"If it had been properly done, which it wasn't," Collard replied.
Wallace said Nielsen didn't see the background check because it and the psychological profile were supposed to give the patrol independent evaluations of a candidate's suitability.
Greene said he will study a psychological test given Wilcock and took the dismissal motion under advisement.