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Judge agrees to dismiss rape case

Teen fails to show up at hearing for Springville man

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PROVO — A Springville ambulance worker no longer faces charges that he raped a 16-year-old girl.

A Provo judge agreed to dismiss the charges against 33-year-old Bret MacArthur after the teenager failed to appear to testify at a pretrial hearing in 4th District Court.

"The state couldn't secure a witness," said Deputy Utah County Attorney David Sturgill. "This was the second time that the same witness didn't show."

At a Aug. 19 hearing, defense attorney Randall Spencer told court officials the young woman was "very hesitant" to testify about her relationship with MacArthur, which allegedly developed during frequent visits by the ambulance worker to the girl's home.

Spencer then asked 4th District Judge Steve Hansen to dismiss the case.

His request was initially denied after Sturgill insisted the girl would show up at court Tuesday to tell her side of the story.

When the girl didn't show up, however, the judge agreed to dismiss the charges.

With the dismissal, MacArthur is free from the case, unless the state refiles charges within the four years allowed by the statute of limitations.

Out on a $7,000 bail bond within a week of his June 6 arrest, MacArthur had faced two first-degree felony counts of rape, one first-degree felony count of sodomy and one second-degree count of forcible sex abuse.

According to Springville police, MacArthur developed a relationship with the girl after frequent medical visits to her ailing mother. His friendship with both mother and daughter increased to the point that he received legal guardianship of the girl.

In that position of trust, police allege, MacArthur started a sexual relationship with the girl, unbeknownst to her mother. Springville Lt. Dave Caron said in previous interviews that the girl had also indicated that MacArthur wanted to take her as a plural wife.

Both MacArthur and his attorney declined to comment on the dismissal.

Sturgill, who also remained tight-lipped about the unusual case, says he can't predict what will happen but remains committed to seeing justice served.

"If I can secure the witness before the statute of limitations runs out," Sturgill said, "I will go forward."

E-mail: lsanderson@desnews.com