Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Accused Sex Predator Michael Pratt's September 8th Hearing Bogs Down Over Cell Phone Records; New Hearing Scheduled For September 15th

The preliminary hearing scheduled for Michael Pratt on September 8th bogged down in a dispute between the defense and prosecution over cell phone records. The prosecution claims they've given the defense all they need, but the defense says they need more specific records. Media stories published in the Provo Daily Herald, the Deseret News, and KSL Channel 5.

All previous posts on this case available HERE; the most recent post will appear first.

Dusty Kawai, public defender for accused sex predator Michael Pratt, asked Judge Christine Johnson for a special hearing Tuesday to rule on evidentiary issues. Kawai said he has requested text message and phone records from the prosecutor's office, but they filed an objection in response. Defense attorneys can get the information they need directly from the service providers for the phones, but that option was nixed when the state's objection was filed. Kawai says he can't get the records without a court order.

But prosecutor Julia Thomas asked the judge to proceed and schedule a preliminary hearing in order to keep the case moving. She acknowledged that it is the victim's right to a speedy trial as well, and the defense must only have all evidence before the defendant formally enters a plea. Although the prosecution does not object to turning over evidence it has, Thomas said she does not have the information requested by the defense, and said the defense can get the evidence on their own with a subpoena. KSL news video embedded below:

Video Courtesy of KSL.com

Pratt is charged with 10 first-degree felony counts of forcible sodomy, seven counts of object rape and two counts of rape, and two second-degree felony counts of forcible sex abuse.

Questions about Michael Pratt's membership status in the LDS Church continue to surface on various comment boards. The fact that the LDS Church terminated Pratt as the seminary principal at Lone Peak High School has NO bearing upon his basic church membership. Neither the LDS Church nor Pratt have addressed his membership. The LDS Church is unlikely to convene a disciplinary council unless Pratt is either convicted, or voluntarily confesses. At such time, the LDS Church would likely convene a disciplinary council, and excommunication would be the most likely outcome. So for the time being, we can still assume that Michael Pratt remains a member of the LDS Church in good standing.

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