CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Grandmother arrested in Cache County for aggravated sexual abuse of a child

Jun 19, 2024, 3:36 PM | Updated: 3:38 pm

Ruth Zurcher Worthen, of Cache County, Utah, is accused of multiple counts of child abuse over a time period of three decades. (Cache County Sheriff's office website)

(Cache County Sheriff's office website)

LOGAN, Utah — A 74-year-old Cache County resident is in jail, facing multiple charges including aggravated child sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a child, object rape of a child, rape, rape of a child, and child sodomy. 

Ruth Z. Worthen was taken into custody after victim interviews, her arrest, and a search of Worthen’s home.

According to a probable cause statement filed in 1st District Court, deputies arrested Worthen and booked her into jail Tuesday after a roughly one-year abuse investigation in Cache County. She faces a total of 23 charges, all first-degree felonies. 

Alleged victims are family members

In a probable cause statement, a 1st District Court deputy detailed accusations of abuse from four people over about a 40-year period. All four victims hold some kind of family relationship to Worthen, either directly or by marriage. The fourth victim initially reported his abuse to North Park Police in 2017 but was told the statute of limitations had expired. He wound up filing a civil lawsuit in 2019, though the lawsuit was dismissed in 2022. One of the other victims accused Worthen of abusing her when she was still in diapers.

The accusations detail possible crimes over the course of 30 years, from the early 1970s through the early 2000s. Because each victim mentioned potential other victims to investigators, the sheriff’s office requested Worthen be held without bail. 

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Grandmother arrested in Cache County for aggravated sexual abuse of a child