WEST JORDAN — Sexual assault charges were dropped Friday against a man who had been accused of a brutal rape.
Michael Anthony Kooyman, 39, was arrested in June and charged in 3rd District Court with rape, object rape and forcible sodomy, all first-degree felonies, in addition to two felony weapons-related charges.
Friday, all of the sex charges were dropped and Kooyman pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a third-degree felony.
After other information about the case came to light, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said his office realized they would have significant issues in court with the evidence they had collected.
"We could not proceed given those evidentiary concerns, and they were significant that we could not proceed to a reasonable likelihood of success at trial," he said.
In a police report written at the time of his arrest, allegations were made that the woman may have been given a date-rape drug. A sexual assault nurse at Alta View Hospital called the woman's injuries "the most severe she has seen."
But Gill said other information was later gathered by investigators that the trauma could have been consistent with other issues. Also, there was no evidence of the drug GHB.
The prosecution's lack of evidence "significantly weakened the original premises on why this case was filed. And we could not overcome the inconsistencies that were present as a part of that investigation," Gill said.1 comment on this story
Kooyman, who was already on the Utah Sex Offender Registry prior to the June arrest, was convicted in 2002 of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony. In 2010 he was charged with failing to register as a sex offender, a third-degree felony, but that charge was ultimately dismissed. On Dec. 31, 2012, he was again charged with failing to register as a sex offender.
For his dangerous weapon conviction, Kooyman was placed on 36 months probation.