SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 3, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Three men accused of raping a 9-year-old girl while her mother smoked meth at a Vernal residence are on trial in Salt Lake City.
Randall Flatlip, Jerry Flatlip and Larson RonDeau are charged with rape of a child and sodomy on a child, both first-degree felonies stemming from an alleged incident on Easter Sunday of 2016.
A fourth man also was charged, but the case against him was dropped for lack of evidence.
The girl who reported being raped gave testimony by video link so she would not have to face the men in the courtroom.
“They took me to the back and all four of them did bad stuff to me,” she said. “They said if I tell anybody, they were going to kill me.”
The girl, who is now 11, waited two days after the 2015 incident to tell her mother she had been abused. Prosecutors said because of that delay, DNA evidence was limited, but they hoped to build a case based on testimony.
A defense attorney said no evidence existed to support the girl’s accusations. The defense also said the girl’s mother may have influenced her story, and that child-welfare professionals mishandled their interview of the girl.
The case was moved from Vernal because of high emotions there and the hope for a fair trial with a change of venue. When potential jurors in Summit County failed to show up, the case was moved to Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court.