SALT LAKE CITY — A man who allegedly robbed, kidnapped or sexually assaulted at least 18 people from April to November last year pleaded guilty to numerous felonies Friday.
Helama Jose Bar Pragana, 23, of Kearns, pleaded guilty to 17 counts — 16 of them first-degree felonies — before 3rd District Judge Robin Reese. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 8 on eight counts of aggravated robbery, four counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated sexual assault, all first-degree felonies; and one count of attempted aggravated kidnapping, a second-degree felony.
An additional 22 charges against Pragana were dismissed in exchange for the man's plea.
Prosecutors said Pragana targeted at least 18 victims over the course of his eight-month crime spree. According to charges, Pragana forced several people at gunpoint to withdraw money from ATMs in Murray and Taylorsville by either forcing them to drive to ATMs and withdraw money or by approaching them while they were at ATMs and demanding money. He sexually assaulted more than one of the individuals he approached, charges state.
In a statement issued Friday, District Attorney Sim Gill called Pragana's plea, "another step towards justice for multiple victims and communities terrorized by ... Pragana’s crime sprees."