Moroni worker accused
of wrongful touching
By James Tilson
Mar. 8, 2018
MANTI—A man of Samoan descent who works in Moroni made his initial appearance in Manti’s 6th District Court last Wednesday, Feb. 28, on a charge of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse.
Defendant Paul Von Dinklage, accused of sexually touching his niece last November, made his first appearance in court with his attorney Steven Newton.
Von Dinklage had been unavailable previously, as he had been in Samoa attending to his sick mother.
The initial appearance, previously scheduled for Jan. 31, had been continued to allow the defendant to return to the jurisdiction.
Von Dinklage and his niece both work for the same firm. According to the probable cause statement, Von Dinklage touched his niece in a sexual manner without consent after he came to check on her at her residence when she called in sick for work.
In interviews, Von Dinklage denied that the touching was inappropriate or sexual, but that his touching was with her consent to help with a headache.
Newton requested that the court set the case for a waiver of preliminary hearing in two weeks.
Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels agreed to the request.
Judge Jared Eldridge set the case for a waiver of preliminary hearing to occur on March 28 at 10 a.m.