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Prosecutors Drop Sex Assault Charges Against Lori Vallow’s Son to Allow for ‘Additional Review of the Case’

A photo shows Colby Ryan.

Colby Ryan. (Image via the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.)

The Maricopa County, Arizona District Attorney’s Office on Friday dropped sex assault charges against Colby Jordan Ryan, 26, the son of alleged child murderer Lori Vallow Daybell.

“This office has filed a motion to dismiss without prejudice, which allows the office to file charges in the future and allows time for additional review of the case,” office spokesperson Jennifer Liewer told Law&Crime by email on Friday.

The actual motion to dismiss the charges has not been posted to the court’s online docket and therefore is not yet public.

An Order of Release obtained by Law&Crime says Ryan was allowed to leave jail on his own recognizance, but he was also ordered to follow five conditions of release.  Those items, verbatim, are as follows:

1. You are not to initiate contact with the arresting officers.
2. You are not to initiate contact with the alleged victim or victims.
3. You are not to possess any drugs without a valid prescription.
4. You are not to drive a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license.
5. You must continue to provide the court with proof of your local address.

Ryan, whose address is listed in Mesa, Arizona on the aforementioned document, had been accused of two counts of sexual assault in connection with a matter that was said to have occurred on Aug. 31, 2022. The two charges are listed as second-degree felonies on the court docket.

A preliminary hearing had been scheduled for Sept. 13.

“A court appearance scheduled for Friday was vacated, and Ryan was released from custody without having to post bond,” East Idaho News reported.

A number of other records in the matter remain sealed, according to the court docket and the prosecutor’s office.

The Arizona statute under which Ryan had been charged reads as follows: “A person commits sexual assault by intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person without consent of such person.”

The presumptive sentence for a conviction on the relevant charge is seven years in prison. The minimum is five and a quarter years; the maximum is 14 years. Additional penalties apply if certain drugs are involved or if a defendant has a criminal record. Sentences for multiple counts must be served consecutively, the statute reads.

As Law&Crime previously noted, Ryan is widely known as the eldest child of Lori Vallow Daybell, 49.  Vallow Daybell is the woman charged in Idaho with murdering her younger children Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16. Her fifth husband Chad Daybell, 54, is charged similarly.

The now-scuttled case against Colby Ryan was alleged to have played out as follows.  On Friday, shortly before 8 p.m., a woman told investigators that Ryan sexually assaulted her two days earlier, according to Phoenix, Arizona television stations KTVK and KPHO. Ryan was said to have arrived at the woman’s house and watched television with her. The two started kissing, and Ryan allegedly wanted to do more; the woman did not, she reportedly told the police.

According to local news reports, the woman told the constabulary that she told Ryan to “stop,” that “this isn’t a good idea,” and “I don’t want to do this.”

Ryan then allegedly raped the woman, according to the initial theory of the case.

Next, Ryan allegedly said he was sorry and started crying, according to the initial version of the case.

According to local reports, the police said the woman indicated she then went to her bedroom and locked the door.

The following morning, the woman was said to have recorded a conversation between herself and Ryan which allegedly contained an admission to rape.  The woman gave the recording to the police; an arrest ensued.  Ryan then confessed to the police, the authorities previously alleged.

It is unclear if the same or similar charges might be re-filed in the future, but the manner of the case’s dismissal leaves open that possibility.

The release order and the original docket are below:

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.