Albert Farnsworth's swagger rattled his shackles as he took his place in court Thursday.
A prosecutor laid out the evidence against him in the Tuesday kidnap and rape of a 12-year-old Gilbert girl — including Farnsworth's cold confession in which he called the child a crude name.
Farnsworth, 20, and William Porter, 23, were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of sexual conduct with a minor, kidnapping and sexual abuse. They are being held without bond at Maricopa County’s Madison Street Jail in Phoenix.
Deputy Maricopa County attorney Rachel Mitchell said the girl's abductors bound her, covered her head with a bag, took her to a house and sexually assaulted her four times in an hour.
This isn't the first brush with the law for Porter or Farnsworth, who is from a prominent East Valley family. His uncle is state House Majority Leader Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert.
Court and police records don't shed much light on Porter's background, which includes arrests on suspicion of shoplifting, domestic violence, criminal damage, disorderly conduct, and marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession.
Albert Farnsworth’s record shows an admitted drug addict, a fit of rage with a hunting knife and dashes from the police.
Eddie Farnsworth said he was shocked by his nephew's arrest, adding he didn't know any more about the crime than what was in news accounts. His nephew's guilt or innocence will come out and "justice will be done," he said.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the young lady and her family," he said. "As a father of seven children, what else can I say?"
According to court records, Albert Farnsworth was adopted as an infant. Farnsworth reported to court officials that his biological parents abused drugs and that he almost drowned at age 3 and when he was 6 he saw a woman kill herself.
An August 2000 presentence report indicates he had been using illegal drugs since age 14 and used marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine daily.
"He feels that he uses marijuana to control his anger problem," probation officer Elaine Walker wrote in that report. On June 30, 2000, Farnsworth's anger showed. Two friends of Farnsworth told Mesa police he pulled a combat-style knife on them when they asked him to leave their East Broadway Road apartment. One of the men was able to take the knife from Farnsworth and the other said he kicked Farnsworth down the steps leading to his apartment out of fear he would be attacked.
"As he was walking away he said, ‘you're dead,’ ” one of the men told police.
Farnsworth told police he wanted to clear up some things with the victims and he took the knife for protection. He also admitted to kicking their door after they threw him out, according to court records. Earlier in June 2000, Farnsworth had a stolen rifle on his lap when police pulled over a car in which he was a passenger. Police said he ran from them after ditching some drugs but they caught him after a short chase. In March 2001, police approached him and his girlfriend as they were leaving an apartment. Officers had knocked on the door earlier but no one answered.
"We were having sex," Farnsworth explained.
When the officer tried to arrest him for underage drinking, Farnsworth bolted, and the officer took a nasty fall trying to catch him, court records state.
"He feels the police officer did not have any reason to stop him. He did not want to deal with the police and now wants everything put behind him," wrote probation officer Sonya Splane in a November 2001 presentence report. "The defendant wants the court to know that ‘he is doing a good job working and keeping clean.’ He wants to ‘get off probation and get on with his life.’ ”
Gilbert police Lt. Ken Fixel said Farnsworth was arrested on suspicion of drug paraphernalia in Gilbert in February 2000, but reports were unavailable Thursday. According to Fixel, Farnsworth was arrested at his job at Orange-Sol, 1400 N. Fiesta Blvd. His father is listed on state documents as the president and CEO of the company, which a Web site says makes citrus-based products. Eddie Farnsworth is listed as the company's lawyer.
Neighbors in the two quiet cul-de-sac communities where Albert Farnsworth's parents and grandparents live were shocked a member of the large, peaceful and influential Mormon family could be involved.
At a home identified by neighbors as being the grandparents of Albert Farnsworth, a woman who answered said the family had no comment. The voice of a man could be heard in the background, saying that the family wasn't ready to speak. Minutes later, a car pulled away from the large, well-kept home.
Family friend and Mormon Bishop Carter Poulson said he's known Farnsworth since he was 10 — about the time the family moved into the Gilbert community.
"They're a very good family," he said. "He had a great family life. And I guess I don't know how he gets to where he got."
He said Farnsworth, who goes by the name "Steve," once put Poulson's name down as a reference on court papers because "he knows I care about him. I do care about him. And I'm just sick about this. I'm not even going to try to figure it out."
He said that though Farnsworth was adopted, he was only an infant at the time, and was accepted as any other child in the family.
"I don't understand," Poulson said. "His parents don't understand. There's nothing to understand."
He said the community is helping support the devastated family.
"There's nothing we can do other than provide love and support," he said. "And people all around here have been doing that. All we can do is love and support and hurt with them."