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Kidnapping dropped, but Utah man still faces sex abuse charges

Published August 11, 2014 10:07 am

Courts • Charged with three counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, all third-degree felonies.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ogden • A Weber County man accused of kidnapping a teenage boy at an Ogden train station and forcing the boy to commit sexual acts with him over several days appeared in court Monday — but is now facing very different charges.

Ryan Mitchell Schaffer, 34, is now charged in Ogden's 2nd District Court with three counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, all third-degree felonies.

Previously, he was charged in January with four first-degree felonies: one charge of aggravated kidnapping and three charges of forcible sodomy. Those charges were dropped and replaced by the new ones.

During his brief appearance in court Monday, his attorney, Paul Remy, asked for a preliminary hearing, which was set for Sept. 23. At that hearing, prosecutors will present testimony and evidence and a judge will then decide whether there is probable cause for Schaffer to stand trial on charges.

Neither Remy nor prosecutor Leticia Toombs would comment as to why the amended charges were filed and the kidnapping charge dropped.

Schaffer was initially accused of threatening the teen with a knife at a FrontRunner station on July 3, 2013, and taking the boy to various places in Ogden over the next three days, forcing the boy to have sex, sometimes at gunpoint.

Schaffer left Utah and was eventually arrested in California and had to be extradited back to the state. While police said the man was fleeing, his defense attorney said in court papers that the man was on vacation and had no idea he was being charged with a crime.

After the charges were amended in late July, Remy asked for his $100,00 cash-only bail to be reduced. A judge agreed to lower the bail amount to $15,000 bondable, and on July 29, Schaffer bailed out of the Weber County jail.

Schaffer is a registered sex offender in Utah, stemming from a 2007 case in Salt Lake County in which he pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree felony exploitation of a minor.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller