Bail set at $250,000 in child sexual assault case

Ryan Todd Nelson

Ryan Todd Nelson

Bail was set at $250,000 cash or bond for a Topaz Ranch Estates man accused of multiple counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 14.

Ryan Todd Nelson, 39, appeared in East Fork Justice Court on Friday morning where prosecutor Chelsea Mazza said he faced four life sentences if he’s convicted, saying that would be ample motivation to flee. She argued that Nelson’s bail should be at $300,000.

“We’re well aware that he has a zero on the risk assessment, but the state believes the bail is appropriate specifically outlined in the nature of the offense,” she said.

Mazza said the child’s statements are corroborated by the survivor’s mother and in some instances by Nelson, who admitted to investigators he would walk nude into the girl’s room and into the shower.

According to court documents, the incidents took place between Dec. 5, 2017, and May 5, 2022. Nelson seemed to be receptive to the possibility of a polygraph early on, but later refused. Polygraphs are not admissible as evidence in court. Nelson denied the charges when an investigator asked him if they were true.

Attorney Martin Hart said Nelson had zero prior offenses and the allegations were a year old.

“He is entitled to an opportunity to be released,” Hart said. “Right now it’s allegations.”

Nelson was arrested on July 12 on a warrant signed the previous day.

According to court documents, Nelson faces three counts of sexual assault on a child under the age of 14, lewdness with a child under the age of 14 and child abuse by sexual abuse.

Senior Judge Steve McMorris ordered Nelson not to have contact with his family. The judge said Nelson qualified for a court appointed attorney.

Nelson is scheduled to appear with his court-appointed attorney today, where bail may be readdressed.


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