An 80-year-old man accused of groping a mother and daughter in a Logan grocery store has pleaded guilty to sexual battery charges.
Mark Chadwick Porter, who is listed as homeless in court documents, was initially charged with two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, 1st District Court records show.
But Porter took a plea deal last week in which prosecutors reduced the charges to two counts of sexual battery, a second-degree felony, and further amended them to class A misdemeanors. In exchange, Porter pleaded guilty to both charges.
His sentencing is scheduled for April 25.
In December, police responded to Natural Grocers in Logan, 1075 N. Main, where a woman reported she'd been shopping with her 15-year-old daughter when they were approached by an elderly man, according to a police booking affidavit.
The man, later identified as Porter, asked if he could have a hug because he was lonely and missed his family, the woman told police. The woman gave him a hug, then another when he asked for a second hug. Porter then hugged the woman's daughter, the affidavit states, and asked the woman for a third hug.
When she hugged him again, the woman said she thought Porter may have touched her breast, the affidavit continues. He then showed her "a metal rod and told her he used it to determine what God wanted him to do."
Porter briefly left, then returned with two metal rods, which he gave to the woman and her daughter, the woman told police. He asked for a fourth hug, but when the woman allowed him to hug her, he kept his hand in front of his body and squeezed her breast, according to the affidavit.
Porter then hugged the 15-year-old "in the same manner" and squeezed her breast as well, the affidavit continues.
During the encounter, the 15-year-old took pictures of the man that captured his clothes but not his face, the affidavit states. Store employees called police the next day when Porter returned to the store, and officers caught up to the car he'd left the store in, matching his clothes to those seen in the photos, according to court documents.
He declined to answer questions at that time, the affidavit states.
In August, Porter was charged in a separate case with violating a protective order after allegedly showing up on a woman's Ring doorbell camera footage in southern Utah. In that case, he is charged in 5th District Court with possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person and violation of a stalking injunction, both third-degree felonies.