University of Utah director arrested, accused of kidnapping estranged wife

Published: Monday, Nov. 12 2012 3:36 p.m. MST

SANDY — A man who police say kidnapped his estranged wife for five hours and took her to the University of Utah campus to rape her has been arrested.

The woman filed for divorce last week and requested a restraining order against the man last month.

Lonnie Norton, 49, was arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, forcible sexual abuse, aggravated sexual assault, object rape, aggravated burglary, violating a protective order and disrupting a communication device, said Sandy Police Sgt. Jon Arnold.

Norton is the director of College Computing for the University of Utah's College of Humanities.

About 2 a.m. Sunday, Norton broke into a home where his estranged wife was staying, Arnold said. The woman told police she was sleeping when she heard a "loud crash." She grabbed the phone to call 911.

"Seconds later, her estranged husband, Lonnie Dell Norton, came into her bedroom and punched her in the face with his fist, taking the phone away from her," a Salt Lake County Jail report states.

Norton then duct taped her mouth, took out a handgun and told her "if she screamed he would kill her," according to the report. He then carried her to his car and drove away, Arnold said.

Police, responding to the 911 hang-up, arrived at the house after the couple had left.

Norton drove to an undisclosed building on the university campus and assaulted the woman, Arnold said. At one point, Norton "told her he was going to kill her and then kill himself," the report states.

After the attack, he took the woman back to his residence where they had lived together, Arnold said. She then persuaded him to take her back to her house. The woman called 911 about 7:15 a.m.

As he was leaving, the estranged wife took several pictures of his vehicle.

According to Utah court records, Norton's wife filed for divorce Wednesday. In October, she filed for a protective order against Norton claiming co-habitant abuse.

The University of Utah released a statement Monday afternoon, saying that the school "has no tolerance for use of its facilities in violation of university policy or the law. University employees who commit violent acts on university property are not eligible to remain employed at the university and will be excluded from campus. The university does not comment on individual personnel actions or ongoing investigations."

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS