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A trial for an Ogden social worker accused of sexually abusing two girls in a Heber hotel room was derailed Tuesday after a jury could not be seated to hear the case.
It's the second time a trial has been canceled for Brian Patrick Gomez because of juror issues.
Gomez, 41, is charged in 4th District Court with six counts of first-degree felony sexual abuse of a child, accused of inappropriately touching a 9-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl in a condo at the Zermatt Resort after a New Year's party in 2014.
A trial was expected to begin Monday, but Judge Roger Griffin declared a mistrial due to juror violations, according to the court docket. Deputy Wasatch County Attorney McKay King said two batches of potential jurors were called Monday for the case, but the first panel was dismissed after a juror had a conversation about the case with a potential witness with other jurors present while the attorneys were meeting with the judge in his chambers. The second batch was "insufficient" to seat a jury, King said.
King said a February trial was canceled after the number of potential jurors needed was "miscalculated."
"We hope to have a new trial date set as soon as possible to move forward with the case," King said.
A pretrial conference has been scheduled for Wednesday.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Gomez was a "family friend" of the two alleged victims. On Dec. 31, 2013, Gomez and the girls' family both rented condominiums at the Midway resort for a New Year's Eve celebration. At about 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2014, the parents left Gomez's condo and went to their own room leaving their three daughters there.
One of the girls texted her father just a half hour after the parents had left, telling him, "I think Bryan is a pedifile [sic] and I'm kind [of] scared," but the message wasn't seen by the parents until the next morning, according to court records.
In the morning, the two alleged victims confided in their parents that Gomez allegedly touched them underneath their pajamas, the affidavit states.
A Wasatch County detective wrote in the affidavit that Gomez is a social worker who "promotes himself as having expertise with teenagers, children, especially those with autistic disorders."
Gomez was arrested in January 2014, and was released on bail days later. According to Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing records, Gomez has agreed to not practice social work until the case is resolved.