Newton Man Enters Alford Guilty Plea to Sexual Abuse Involving a Teenage Girl

A 21 year old Newton man accused of having sex with a 15 year old girl in August of last year entered an Alford Plea of Guilty today. Jasper County District Court records show District Court Judge Elisabeth Reynolds accepted the plea from Dakota Shane Utterback, and set his sentencing for December 16th. In an Alford Plea the defendant does not admit committing the crime, but acknowledges there is enough evidence that a conviction is likely. Utterback was arrested last October 17th, and was released on a 2-thousand dollar surety bond in early December. He was charged with 3rd Degree Sexual Abuse. Newton Police said his arrest stemmed from a sexual assault investigation the department began August 25th 2018 into then 21 year old Zachary Morecock. During that investigation, Police obtained information about Utterback sexually assaulting a 15 year old girl between August 16th and the 25th of last year. The assault was reportedly witnessed by Utterback’s then 22 year old sister Ariel Utterback. She and Morecock were also charged with sexual abuse.