Brian James Mask

PROVO — A door-to-door salesman who police say attacked a 58-year-old woman in her home seemed confused Tuesday by his charge of attempted murder.

Brian James Mask, 25, stood before 4th District Judge James Taylor Tuesday morning on felonies of attempted murder with serious bodily injury and aggravated sexual assault.

"I thought it was aggravated battery," Mask said.

Taylor clarified that in Utah there is no such charge. So Mask, from Chicago, tried again.

"It was aggravated assault, my first charge."

"Sir, you're charged with what's on the (document)," Taylor said.

"You get attempted murder for punching someone?" Mask replied.

Mask was arrested Aug. 25 by Lehi police after a woman called 911 to say she had been sexually assaulted and attacked by a large man who had been selling magazines door to door.

Police said the man came to the woman's home in American Fork and made his magazine pitch. Then, he told her he needed her signature and was allowed in the home.

Once inside, police say Mask, at 6 feet, 2 inches tall and 275 pounds, grabbed the smaller woman and dragged her into the back bedroom.

Police said he took off some of her clothes and sexually abused her, all while holding his hands around her neck, choking her, then later punching her.

Those factors are enough for the attempted murder charge, said prosecutor Donna Kelly.

"Choking someone till they pass out, our office believes, is attempted murder," Kelly said. "Causing her to pass out and leaving her there for (dead)."

The woman was in the hospital Tuesday for facial reconstruction surgery, Kelly said. During the attack, Kelly said Mask broke five bones in her face and severely dislocated and broke her nose.

After the attack, she crawled to the bathroom and waited until she was sure it was safe, then called police.

American Fork police put out an alert for the man and Lehi police found him soon after at a bus stop.

At a previous bail hearing, Mask invoked his right to a speedy trial. So at Tuesday's court appearance, Kelly asked for a quickly scheduled preliminary hearing to preserve Mask's rights. However, she's a bit concerned the victim may not have recovered sufficiently by the hearing on Sept. 9.

Mask was appointed a public defender, despite making $250,000 last year selling magazines.

"Where is that money now?" Taylor asked.

"I travel state to state," Mask said. "I blew it."

Mask, who has claimed to be part of a gang from Chicago, will have an attorney assigned to him and present with him at his next hearing. He is in the Utah County Jail on $200,000 bail.


E-mail: [email protected]