Roy Police Officer to Appeal Child Sexual Abuse Conviction | News, Sports, Jobs
FARMINGTON — Roy Police Officer Ryan A. Estes will appeal his conviction for child sexual abuse, his lawyer announced Friday.
Rich Gallegos, who represented Estes, 39, in his two-day trial that ended Monday, said by email the verdict would be challenged. In a bench trial, 2nd District Judge Michael DiReda found Estes guilty of aggravated first-degree felony of child sexual abuse. Estes was charged with abusing a girl under 14.
“I respect the court’s decision, but I believe the evidence does not support a guilty verdict,” Gallegos said. “We will appeal.”
The charging documents alleged that Estes abused the girl in the fall of 2016 at Clinton. He had a position of trust with the girl. Gallegos said the crime charged was a “physical impossibility” because the family moved from Clinton to Roy in 2015.
“To get the year wrong didn’t bother the court, and the court relied on other testimony and evidence to overcome that,” Gallegos said. “I, like many others who watched the whole trial, believe (Estes) is innocent.”
Gallegos described the affair as a “purely he said/she said” affair, with the girl saying abuse took place and Estes denying it. Gallegos said the girl allegedly admitted to “lying to authorities” in other areas.
“From a defense perspective, there was no actual investigation, just a detective taking a report and the detective believing the victim,” Gallegos said.
Efforts to reach Matthew Janzen, an assistant Davis County prosecutor who prosecuted the Estes case, were not immediately successful.
Estes was tried on just one of five charges originally filed in October 2021. DiReda dismissed the other four charges after Gallegos argued that Davis County was an inappropriate location because the events alleged in those cases occurred at Roy, in the jurisdiction of Weber County.
Janzen filed four new charges two months ago in Ogden 2nd District Court and Estes was re-arrested. These charges, involving the same alleged victim and a second daughter, relate to alleged events in Roy. The charges are pending before Judge Joseph Bean.
Roy police officials placed Estes on leave when the initial charges were filed. Police Chief Matthew Gwynn said at the time that the alleged incidents were outside the scope of the officer’s policing duties.
Asked about Estes’ status in light of the conviction, a Roy Police Department spokesperson said Thursday that the officer’s employment status was being reviewed. No decision had been made public Friday afternoon.
Estes is being held in Davis County Jail without bail pending sentencing.