The Cache County attorney Friday morning filed six felony counts of aggravated assault against each of the armed security guards who confronted 38 teens and young adults in Logan Canyon a week ago.
The three men charged were John Lemon Jeppson of Pocatello and Christopher Lynn Doerr and Arthur Benjamin Peasnall, both of Tooele County.Aggravated assault is a third degree felony that carries a possible sentence of up to five years in prison.
Two groups of teenagers and young adults said that before dawn on Oct. 10 and again that night, three watchmen at the old St. Anne's retreat terrorized them.
The teens were cited for trespassing into the camp sold by the Catholic church to private investors in 1992. It has been rumored to be haunted for decades but now is owned by several families who have topped the gate with barbed and razor wire.
The teens, who told authorities they walked through an open gate and crawled under a fence, say they were confronted by three shotgun-wielding men.
The security guards fired at least one shot over the heads of the first group, then marched them into a lodge, handcuffed and tied them neck to neck by ropes, the teenagers said in statements to investigators.
Deputies cited the first group of eight and released them.
But later that night a second group of 30 boys and girls, unaware of what happened in the earlier incident, said they were accosted by the same men, ordered into the empty pool, handcuffed with plastic flexible ties and also bound by ropes, neck to neck.
They said they were told that if they moved the ropes would tighten, trigger an explosive and their heads would be blown off.
Both times, the security guards called the Cache County sheriff's deputies.
Jeppson told a dispatcher during the night incident that he had 50 young people tied at their necks and handcuffed awaiting help, according to a tape of the call.
"Around their necks?" asked the incredulous dispatcher, who also questioned the caller about the number of juveniles being held.
"Yes, they're on their knees in the swimming pool," replied the watchman for the private Logan Canyon camp where the teens were caught.
"You got them on their knees in a swimming pool?" the dispatcher asked.
The 50-year-old watchman then shot back, "Hey . . . This is on private property."
Cache County Sheriff Lynn Nelson said he has interviewed Jeppson, who is 50.
"He has a lot of really different views on things," Nelson said.
Asked about the 911 recording, Nelson said, "I think it's pretty consistent with what we've anticipated.
"I think he thought all along he was defending his property," he said. "He was scared of these kids. He viewed them as a danger to himself."