WEST JORDAN — A 17-year-old boy accused of sexually assaulting four teenage girls has been sentenced to house arrest, ordered to undergo juvenile sex offender treatment, and told to have no contact with anyone under 14.
The disturbing cases also have police reminding parents to talk to their children about dating and what to do if a child finds themself in a potentially threatening or dangerous situation.
The boy was convicted in 3rd District Juvenile Court of two counts of forcible sexual abuse. He was accused of assaulting at least four teens during the 2015-2016 school year. The Deseret News has chosen not to name him.
The incident came to light when two girls went to the vice principal of their school and told him "that there is a boy taking advantage of girls forcing them to do sex acts," according to a search warrant affidavit.
In one incident, a 15-year-old girl told police that sometime between late 2015 and early 2016, they had intercourse without her consent, according to the warrant.
Then in October, the boy picked the same girl up under the guise of getting ice cream, police say. But he then drove to the parking lot of a school.
"We are not going to leave until you have sex with me," the boy told her, according to the affidavit.
"I am not going to have sex with you, no, let me out," the girl said she told him.
The boy then threatened to make her walk home if she didn't comply, the warrant states.
Another girl, 15, reported being raped and sexually assaulted in a shed on the property of a church in Herriman, the affidavit states. The girl had to physically push the boy to get him off of her, and then bite him to prevent the assault from continuing, according to charging documents.
A third girl, 17, reported to her school that she was at the boy's house with a group of friends watching a movie. But when the friends went upstairs to get food, the boy climbed on top of her and began fondling her, court documents state. She said she had to physically push him off of her.
A fourth girl, 15, told police that the boy picked her up one night to get a soda.
"(He) drove for about 30 minutes to an unknown location, parked at a church, then told her that she was going to have sex with him and if she didn't then she would be walking home. (The girl) was not sure of where she was or how to get home and didn't know how to get out of the situation," the warrant states.
After having sex with her, the boy was originally going to drive the girl home, "only to then change his mind saying that he had stuff to do" before dropping her off at a fast-food restaurant, according to the warrant.
Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke said it's always a good idea for young teens to go on dates with friends or a group of people. He encouraged parents to find out where their children are going before they leave the house.
He also said it's good to establish code words between a child and their parents in case something goes wrong during a date. If a teen texts or calls their mother or father with the code word, then the parent will know to either go get their child or call them to pull them out of an uncomfortable situation. That way, Lohrke said the parents can look like the "bad guy" and the teen isn't revealing to their date that they're seeking help.
The 17-year-old was sentenced March 6. If the boy violates the conditions of his probation he could be sent to a secure juvenile facility.
As part of the teen's plea deal, two counts of rape were reduced to forcible sex abuse charges. In exchange for pleading guilty to those two counts, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a third count of rape, as well as forcible sodomy, sexual battery and unlawful detention, according to court records.
Help for people in abusive relationships can be found by contacting the YWCA's Women in Jeopardy program at 801-537-8600 or the statewide Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-897-LINK (5465).