An Arizona State Prison inmate has been charged with three first-degree felonies in the August 1985 kidnapping and sexual assault on a West Bountiful girl who was 10 years old at the time.
William E. Denning, 31, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, sodomy upon a child, and aggravated sexual assault in the incident. All carry prison terms of five years to life and minimum mandatory prison terms of five, 10 or 15 years.Denning was scheduled for arraignment Tuesday in 2nd District Court but defense attorney Steve Vanderlinden asked that the case be sent back to Bountiful 2nd Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing.
Vanderlinden said he thought a plea bargain was going to be worked out and Denning initially waived his preliminary hearing but the negotiations failed and it appears the case will go to trial.
Vanderlinden told Judge Douglas L Cornaby that Denning is serving a 30-year prison sentence in Arizona and faces a life term in Nevada after his Arizona term so remaining in the Davis County Jail waiting for trial is not an issue.
The judge granted the motion, sending the case back to the Bountiful court.
According to court records, Denning forced the then 10-year-old girl into his car in North Salt Lake on Aug. 5, 1982, and took her to the vicinity of the North Salt Lake Gun Club and sexually assaulted her.
Denning later admitted to a Boulder City, Nev., police officer that he committed the offense, according to the court file, and the girl picked a photo of Denning taken in May 1986 out of a mug shot lineup.
The girl's description of the car she was forced into also matches that of the car Denning was driving in 1985, according to statements by investigators. Furthermore, Denning's description to Nevada police of his victim matches that of the West Bountiful girl.