Former Rich Co. commissioner charged with child sex abuse

Thomas J. Weston (COURTESY PHOTO/Rich Civic Times)

RANDOLPH, Utah — A long-time Rich County commissioner has been arrested and charged with felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child and felony sodomy on a child. Thomas J. Weston, 68, appeared in Utah First District Court via video conference on Tuesday, Jan. 28. The case has been transferred to the Cache County Attorney’s office to avoid conflict of interest.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case, Weston was arrested on Friday, Jan. 24, after it was reported to authorities that Weston had inappropriately touched a minor family member “numerous times over about a 1-1/2 to 2-year period.” After speaking with the victim, Rich County Sheriff Dale Stacey arranged for a monitored telephone call between the child and Weston, during which Weston reportedly admitted to doing things that would “probably put me in prison the rest of my life.”

Charging documents list both offenses as first-degree felonies involving a child under the age of 14 and state “the offense was committed by an individual who occupied a position of special trust in relation to the victim.”

Weston, who retired from the Rich County Commission in December 2018 after serving in that capacity for 18 years, is facing a minimum sentence of 15 years to life if convicted of the charges. Court documents state imprisonment is mandatory. Additionally, Cache County Chief Deputy Attorney Tony Baird indicated during the initial appearance that he was preparing to file additional charges.

Bail in the case was set at $50,000 and Weston was ordered to have no direct or indirect contact with the victim or the victim’s immediate family and no contact with any child under the age of 18.

Weston’s next court appearance has been scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 12.

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