SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah doctor convicted of leaving his heavily drugged wife to die in a bathtub will face a new trial next year on 6-year-old sexual assault charges.
The trial was delayed Monday from Dec. 3 to Feb. 4 after Martin MacNeill’s defense lawyer said he needed more time to prepare.
Randy Spencer said he was still recovering from MacNeill’s murder trial.
MacNeill was found guilty Nov. 9 of murder and obstruction of justice in the April 2007 death of his wife, Michele.
The forcible sexual assault charges stem from an incident that occurred about a month after the death, according to court documents.
The records don’t identify an alleged victim, although lawyers and prosecutors say she testified in 2008 at a preliminary hearing. The Associated Press does not normally name the alleged victims of sexual crimes.
Prosecutors say the woman testified at the hearing that MacNeill put a hand into her pants. MacNeill denies the allegation, through his attorney, who called it a “she said, he said” case.
“They dismissed this case once in 2007 because they felt they didn’t have evidence. They only brought it up again because they felt MacNeill had done another bad act,” said Spencer, referring to fraud charges that sent MacNeill to prison in 2009.
MacNeill was convicted of letting a mistress who was trying to escape a debt-heavy history adopt the identity of one of his adopted daughters.
He also was under investigation in his wife’s death at the time, but it wasn’t until his release from federal prison in July 2012 that authorities moved to file the murder case.
Prosecutors say they are proceeding with the sex assault case despite the fact MacNeill will be sentenced in January to 15 years to life in prison on the murder charge because they want to hold him accountable for a separate crime with a different victim.
MacNeill, 57, was medical director at the Utah State Developmental Center. He surrendered his medical license in 2009 because of the fraud conviction, the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing said Monday.
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