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Arraignment for Sheridan man’s sexual abuse charges delayed

SHERIDAN — The formal arraignment of a Sheridan man accused of molesting a 10-year-old special needs girl was postponed Wednesday after his attorney asked the presiding judge for a competency evaluation by the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston.

Attorney Ryan Healy told 4th Judicial District Court Judge John Fenn he had doubts about the mental capability of Robert Bell, 59, to proceed with the legal process.

Additionally, Healy said he had fielded similar concerns from members of Bell’s family.

Bell is accused of having molested the girl on several occasions between June 2012 and January 2013.

If convicted, he faces between 25 and 50 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to an affidavit filed by the county attorney’s office, Bell had been serving as the girl’s baby sitter at the time the alleged offenses took place.

The document charges that despite being aware of his existing sex offender status, the girl’s mother allowed Bell to watch her daughter because she was desperate for child care.
The legal process will resume pending the results of Bell’s evaluation. A date for his next court appearance has not yet been set.

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