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Sexual assault charges against son of Lori Vallow Daybell dropped

Sexual assault charges against Colby Jordan Ryan, the eldest and only surviving son of Lori Vallow Daybell, who is accused of killing her two other children, have been dropped, according to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. Ryan was arrested last week in Arizona after being accused by his estranged wife of rape.

"I can confirm that this office has filed a motion to dismiss without prejudice, which allows the office to file charges in the future and provides time for additional review of the case," Maricopa County Attorney's Office communications director Jennifer Liewer told CBS News in a statement Tuesday.

Ryan, 26, was released from custody Thursday, according to a release document from the attorney's office. The terms of Ryan's release stipulate that he cannot "initiate contact" with either the arresting officers or the alleged victim.

According to a probable cause document, Ryan and his wife, who were no longer living together, had been watching TV at the wife's home during the week prior to his arrest. The two began consensually kissing, according to the statement, but Ryan's wife then indicated she wanted to stop. Ryan continued, however, and began to touch her in a sexual manner, the probable cause statement said.

Missing Kids Mom Arrested
Lori Vallow Daybell's son Colby Ryan addresses the media during the hearing for Daybell on Friday, March 6, 2020, in Rexburg, Idaho. John Roark / AP

Ryan's wife told police that he then sexually assaulted her while she "again told him to 'Stop. I don't want to do it,' while trying to push him off of her," police documents said. 

Afterward, Ryan apologized and began to cry, the document said. His wife locked herself in her bedroom and Ryan slept on the couch, the document said. The next day, Ryan's wife recorded a conversation the two had in which Ryan admitted to the inappropriate touching and "agreed that he 'raped' the Victim," the document said.

Ryan made similar admissions to police after he was arrested, the document stated.

Ryan's mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, and her new husband Chad Daybell face numerous charges in a bizarre case, including conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Lori Vallow Daybell's children, 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, as well as Chad Daybell's first wife, Tammy Daybell.

Idaho law enforcement began investigating the Daybells in November 2019 after extended family members reported the children were missing. While the children were missing, police said the couple lied about the children's whereabouts. Their bodies were found buried later on Chad Daybell's property in rural Idaho.

Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell married just two weeks after his previous wife, Tammy Daybell, died unexpectedly. Tammy Daybell's death was initially reported as "natural causes," but investigators had her body exhumed after growing suspicious when Chad Daybell quickly remarried.

Lori Vallow Daybell is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Arizona in connection with the death of her previous husband. Charles Vallow was shot and killed by Lori Vallow Daybell's brother, Alex Cox, who claimed it was self-defense. Cox later died of what police said was natural causes.

APTOPIX Missing Kids-Mom Arrested
Lori Vallow appears in court in Lihue, Hawaii on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. Dennis Fujimoto / AP

In April, Lori Vallow Daybell entered a "not guilty" plea and invoked her right to a speedy trial, which legally needed to take place by October. That complicated plans for a combined trial for her and her husband.

On May 19, prosecutors asked that Lori Vallow Daybell's trial be postponed until Jan. 9. Prosecutors expressed concern that if she was tried separately in October that an "improper severance" would happen with the couple's cases.

Boyce also expressed concern whether Lori Vallow Daybell's recently appointed attorneys had enough time to prepare for the trial and said the 90-day delay would give them more. He noted that prosecutors have worked on the case since 2020.  

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