Michael Doporto, who was released from prison last spring after a controversial Utah Supreme Court decision, pleaded not guilty Monday to new charges of child sex abuse.

Doporto now faces eight first-degree felony counts, three of which were first filed in 7th District Court in Price. A judge there agreed to consolidate those with five counts in 2nd District Court in Farmington since the charges involve the same young victim.Doporto is accused of aggravated sexual abuse of a young relative from 1984 to 1993 during sleepovers at his home in Price, a family gathering in Kaysville and once on Christmas Day.

Prosecutors say they filed the charges after Doporto allegedly dialed a wrong number in August and left a message on an answering machine saying: "I love (the girl). I never raped her. I fondled her and stuff like that but I never raped her. . . . I got my problems, but give me a break."

Doporto was freed last year after the high court overturned his 1993 conviction for allegedly sodomizing a 7-year-old girl. In its split decision, the Utah Supreme Court ruled the judge erred in allowing two other girls to testify that Doporto had abused them.

He has been in jail on $100,000 bail since his January arrest on the new charges.

Craig Barlow, an assistant attorney general, is prosecuting the case against Doporto. He had requested the consolidation of Carbon and Davis cases.

Defense attorney Mary Cor-poron said Doporto needs to be tested by an audiologist and fitted with a hearing aid before further court appearances. He has severe hearing loss, Corporon said.

Second District Court Judge Michael Allphin scheduled an April 6 status hearing in the case. A trial date is expected to be set that day.

Last month, the Utah Supreme Court changed the Rules of Evidence to make it easier for prosecutors to inform juries about defendants' prior bad acts.

In making the change, the court reversed the position it had taken in the Doporto case in April 1997.