Trial set for man accused of raping woman while on first date

LOGAN — The case involving a 24-year-old man accused of raping a woman while the two were on a first date is heading to trial, as a judge considers some final evidence issues. Neal O. Eddington is charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of aggravated kidnapping, all first-degree felonies.

Eddington appeared in 1st District Court Tuesday afternoon for a final pre-trial conference. He is from South Jordan but was attending school fulltime in Logan at the time of the alleged crime.

Police report, the alleged victim claimed that while on a first date, Eddington raped her over a period of several hours. The assault allegedly occurred on October 6. He was arrested four days later.

During Tuesday’s hearing, defense attorney Tara Isaacson asked the court to suppress her client’s statements to police, saying officers did not properly allow him to waive his Miranda Rights. She also objected to allowing two expert witnesses to testify during the trial, explaining that neither of them treated the alleged victim and would be irrelevant.

State attorney Jacob Gordon objected each motion. He told the court if Eddington didn’t want to speak to police, he could have remained silent. He also said the state’s two expert witnesses would be able to help the jury understand the physical and mental trauma associated with sexual assaults.

Judge Kevin Allen told the attorneys, he hadn’t made up his mind on what testimony he would allow during the trial. He said given the seriousness of the case, he was going to issue a written opinion on the motions. The ruling is expected to be completed as soon as possible, so attorneys can finish their preparation for the three-day trial, beginning May 8.

Eddington remains out of jail on bail. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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