Police nab man suspected of gropings at BYU

Published: Friday, April 11 2014 2:50 p.m. MDT

PROVO — Criminal charges were filed Thursday against a man believed to be responsible for groping 16 women on the campus of Brigham Young University.

Nathan Eric Fletcher, 22, was charged in 4th District Court with two counts of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor. But police believe he committed all 16 groping incidents reported on and around campus since January.

"We're confident he is the man," BYU Police Lt. Arnie Lemmon said Friday. "There are 16 reported incidents. We are confident he is responsible for all 16."

Fletcher, who police say has known he was under investigation for a while, was called down to the police station Friday and served with a summons ordering him to appear in court on May 1.

School officials also knew charges were pending. On April 1, Fletcher — a BYU student who was living on campus — was "permanently banned from all university properties. So if he were to show up at campus at all he would be arrested," Lemmon said.

After being banned from campus, Fletcher was also evicted from his apartment, police said.

On Fletcher's Facebook page, there are pictures of what appear to be his wedding that were posted in October. The site also has a photograph of him running a track relay race in August of 2012. He is listed on the BYU track team's 2012-13 roster and was star track runner for Timpview High School. His LinkedIn page lists him in "medical practice."

Investigators were able to track down Fletcher through video surveillance and witnesses who stepped forward and identified him, according to the lieutenant.

Fletcher was not booked into jail because Lemmon said police don't typically book people who are arrested for misdemeanors. Detectives did not believe Fletcher is a flight risk, he said.

Asked about the motivation behind the gropings, Lemmon said he did not know.

Police believe that since Jan. 23, Fletcher has been groping or swatting the breasts and buttocks of women who were out walking or jogging around campus. In many cases, police believe Fletcher was dressed as a jogger himself and would often grope an unsuspecting victim without saying a word as he jogged by.

Court records show Fletcher has no prior criminal history in Utah outside of minor traffic infractions.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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