UNCATEGORIZED

Sundance Film Fest Co-founder Pleads Guilty In Child Sex Abuse Case

Apr 30, 2019, 12:34 PM

AMERICAN FORK, Utah – A Utah filmmaker who co-founded the Sundance Film Festival pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually abusing a young girl.

Sterling Van Wagenen, 71, of Woodland Hills, was charged in Utah County with a first-degree felony of aggravated sexual abuse of a child after prosecutors alleged he abused the girl twice over the course of two years.

The abuse reportedly happened in American Fork and West Jordan and involved a girl who was 7 – 9 years old at the time.

RELATED: Sundance Film Festival Co-founder Charged With Sex Abuse

Van Wagenen faces six years to life and waived his right to a preliminary hearing and speedy trial.

He will appear in court Thursday in Salt Lake County, where he’s charged for the incident that happened in West Jordan.

Following court, Van Wagenen’s defense attorney Steven Shapiro said this could have been a year and half of legal proceedings that he was entitled to, but his client has admitted to his wrongdoing and wants to move forward and not further harm his family.

“He took his first opportunity to acknowledge, to admit, to the conduct,” Shapiro said. “(He waived) his rights to challenge the evidence or put the victim through the ordeal of testifying in court …”

Van Wagenen has been out on bail and was ordered to have no direct contact with the victim or the victim’s family. Shapiro said his client is in treatment, and he is due back in Utah County on July 2.

RELATED: New Allegations Surface Against Sundance Co-Founder.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Uncategorized

Frozen turkeys are displayed for sale inside a grocery store on November 14, 2022 in New York City....
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Casey Scott gives away grocery gift cards to help with Thanksgiving costs

From the turkey to the pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving is expected to be more expensive for Utahns this year.
22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Sundance Film Fest Co-founder Pleads Guilty In Child Sex Abuse Case