SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, March 21, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has vacated a conviction 2016 case involving a man accused of child sexual abuse.
Vacating a conviction means a guilty verdict is withdrawn, and the case is dismissed. The move comes after a year-long review by the Conviction Integrity Unit, which recommended the case be vacated.
“Truth, transparency and justice are the cornerstones in which our criminal justice system is built,” D.A. Sim Gill said in a prepared statement released Monday. “If someone is wrongfully convicted, we have a duty to right the wrong. Our Conviction Integrity Unit makes all decisions based on the evidence and does a diligent job going though each fact. I accept their recommendation and agree with their finding.”
The Unit found that the convicted man, Kelly Bingham, was convicted after the statute of limitations had run out on the crime.
“In 1999, Mr. Bingham fully disclosed to law enforcement authorities the conduct which is the basis of the charges he pleaded guilty to and was sentenced for in 2016,” the Unit’s recommendation statement says.
“Aggravated sexual abuse of a child and sodomy on a child committed between 1989 and 1995, under Utah law that applied in 1999, had to be charged at least before 2003 in Mr. Bingham’s case, or prosecution was barred.”
The report noted that Bingham did not claim innocence or try to minimize or ignore its impact on the victim or family. The report notes that “Bingham has done much to address his deviant behavior, to redress his crimes, and to put his life back together and help the victim do the same.”
The statement also says the Bingham’s attorney and the prosecutor in the 2016 trial “did not disclose the fact that the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office previously declined to prosecute Mr. Bingham because it determined the statute of limitations prevented it.”
It also said that Bingham said he would not have pled guilty, taking a plea deal, had he known that he should not have been charged.