Utah State Official Charged with Rape of Two Children

Utah NewsMichael Hepworth, a senior forensic scientist with the Utah Department of Public Safety crime lab, has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse and rape of two children in Woods Cross, Utah.

Hepworth admitted to police that he abused the children multiple times.  Hepworth is accused and charged with raping and sexually abusing a boy and a girl over a five-year period. The two were 8 and 12 years old when the abuse began, according to court documents.  The girl told authorities that she was first raped when she was 12.  The boy said he was first raped when he was 8 or 9.  They are both teenagers now.

Police said that Hepworth held a position of trust over the children, but did not explain what the relationship was. The mother of the children had reported the crimes to the police. Both children said that Hepworth promised to give them money for sex. The probable cause statement also indicates that Hepworth gave the boy alcohol.

After the arrest, police searched Hepworth’s home and found child pornography.

Hepworth’s worked as a forensic chemist at the state crime lab since January 2002. Because Hepworth is an expert in dealing with criminal evidence, some commentators question whether he could have hidden or destroyed evidence of his own criminal activity.

Police continue to investigate the case and ask any other victims to come forward and speak with police at 801-292-4422.

It is our experience as sexual abuse attorneys that alleged criminals like Hepworth don’t have one or two victims. They continue to abuse until they get caught. In this case, Hepworth may have been able to hide evidence of his criminal behavior even better than others, which makes it even more important for witnesses with information to come forward.


Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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