Newton C. Estes, 62, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in 2nd District Court to two sex-related charges: aggravated sexual abuse of a child and showing harmful material to a minor.
Estes, 372 E. Seventh North, slugged a visiting U.S. Supreme Court Justice in 1982 in Salt Lake City to protest what he said are lax court standards on pornography and school busing.Judge Douglas L Cornaby set a June 8 trial and a May 31 pretrial hearing for Estes. Estes said nothing other than pleading not guilty in his court appearance, but defense attorney Steve Vanderlinden said he has been negotiating with the Davis County attorney's office and doubts the case will go to trial.
Aggravated sexual abuse of a child is a first-degree felony, carrying a 5-year-to-life prison term and minimum mandatory term of 5, 10 or 15 years. Dealing in material harmful to a minor is a third-degree felony, carrying a prison term of zero to 5 years.
Newton wrote a letter to Layton 4th Circuit Judge K. Roger Bean before his April 18 preliminary hearing, saying the publicity surrounding his 1982 assault on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White and the new charges are causing his business as a construction cost estimator to suffer.
He offered to move out of state if the charges were dropped, but the judge had a reply drafted saying it was not appropriate for him to negotiate with Estes and further negotiations should be done through his attorney.
Estes is charged with showing nude photos to an 11-year-old girl, his housekeeper, and asking her to assume similar poses. One complaint charges he also fondled her, paying her an extra $5 that day. The incidents, according to court records, occurred in June 1987 and January of this year in his home.
Estes was convicted in December 1983 of assaulting White during a July 1982 visit to Salt Lake City to address the Utah State Bar. Estes stormed the speaker's podium as television news cameras rolled, and punched White in the head twice.
At his trial, Estes said he attacked White to protest the court's liberal attitude toward pornography and school busing for desegregation.
Later apologizing for the attack and saying it was not an appropriate way to gain a forum for his views, Estes was fined $500 and spent 10 days in jail on his conviction.