75-year-old Woman Facing 18 Child Sex Abuse Charges in Utah; Arrested after Victims Came Forward

A Cache County woman is now facing a staggering 18 felony child sex abuse charges, as revealed in court documents. These charges stem from incidents that occurred over the span of the last 30 years.

A 75-year-old woman named Ruth Zurcher Worthen was taken into custody on Tuesday, June 18. She is facing serious charges, including 15 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and three counts of object rape of a child.

The Cache County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Mikelshan Bartschi stated that investigators suspect there could be additional victims beyond those who have filed charges.

It appears that Ms. Worthen may have victimized more people, according to the allegations. The Cache County Sheriff’s Office is urging individuals who may have information about this matter to come forward. They are also encouraging other potential victims to come forward and identify themselves. This request was made by Bartschi in a press release on Wednesday, June 19.

Recent court documents reveal that multiple individuals, both male and female, have bravely stepped forward to share their accounts of child sex abuse. Every victim was interviewed individually. Reports detail instances of alleged abuse that took place during the victims’ formative years, with each victim recounting prolonged and repeated incidents of sexual victimization.

The victims provided explicit descriptions, including acts involving hands, hairbrushes, and a spatula. A victim came forward, sharing their experience of being coerced into sexual activity with Worthen during their childhood years.

The victims’ accounts include claims of both psychological and sexual abuse. The victims claimed that Worthen would use horrifying threats during the sexual abuse, including threats to dismember them by cutting off their arms one by one, chopping them into pieces, and burying them separately in the yard. He also threatened to cut off an ear, stab them in the abdomen, and rip out their lungs.

Worthen allegedly subjected victims to emotional abuse, repeatedly telling them hurtful phrases such as “no one loves you” and “you’re stupid” during their childhood. Worthen allegedly exposed victims to explicit material and, at times, recorded instances of abuse. Investigators have confiscated a camcorder-style camera along with several old tapes and media that are believed to be from the relevant time period.

According to the probable cause statement, Worthen was interviewed by investigators from Cache County as per ABC4 News.

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According to the document, when Worthen was informed that the victims wanted assurance that she would not repeat her actions, she reportedly responded with indifference, shrugging her shoulders and avoiding eye contact. The document stated that her denials lacked credibility, and even when informed that she would be booked into jail, she displayed no signs of behavior change or concern.

According to the probable cause statement, Worthen is facing additional allegations that she has not been charged with due to statute of limitations issues. In 2019, a victim who was unable to bring their allegations to criminal court due to statute of limitations issues and a lack of a statute for child rape at the time, decided to file a civil lawsuit against Worthen.

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