WEST JORDAN — A 15-year-old boy is facing six first-degree felonies after police say he dragged a woman off a trail in the Dimple Dell gully last month, telling her she was going to die while brutally attacking her as she struggled to get away.
If the case is bound over for trial, prosecutors intend to ask that the teen face the charges — including attempted aggravated murder and sexual assault — as an adult.
The boy was quiet as he sat shackled in a courtroom Tuesday while an evidence hearing in the case was scheduled for June 19-20, where 3rd District Juvenile Judge Renee Jimenez will decide whether there is evidence to support the allegations.
Pending the outcome of that hearing, a retention hearing was also tentatively set for July 11-12. That's when the teen's attorneys will likely ask to keep the case in the juvenile system.
The 15-year-old is currently being held in a juvenile detention facility. The Deseret News has chosen not to identify him at this time.
The teen is charged with attempted aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and three counts of aggravated sexual assault — all first-degree felonies.
The teenager was on a scooter when he yelled to the woman and asked to use her phone as she was jogging along a trail in Dimple Dell Regional Park near 10100 South and 250 East on March 19, according to a petition filed in 3rd District Juvenile Court late last month.
When the woman noticed the teen was only pretending to make a call and tried to take her phone back, he grabbed her in a headlock and began dragging her backward toward a ravine, according to the petition.
Crime scene measurements suggest the woman may have been dragged as far as 52 feet.
Anytime the woman screamed, the petition states, the teen would kick her in the head or strangle her, telling her repeatedly, "You're going to die today" and "You're going to die down here."
The woman answered the teen's threats, "No, I'm not," according to the petition, and the teen strangled her until she passed out.
When she awoke, she told police she found her blouse pulled up and the teen sexually assaulting her, the petition states.
The woman told police she tried several times to climb out of the ravine, but the teen "kept pulling her back down, by her throat or her hair, kicking her in the head and strangling her," the petition alleges. At one point when she tried to get away, the woman told police he broke what she believes was a glass bottle over her head, leaving her dazed.
The attacker then grabbed a shard of glass and attempted to shove it into the woman's eye, the petition states, and threatened to pull out a knife telling her, "I'm going to slit your throat."
After being repeatedly sexually assaulted, according to the petition, the woman was able to run away while the teen was getting dressed, leaving behind her phone and a GPS watch that the teen is accused of pulling from her wrist and throwing into the ravine.
A sexual assault examination found the woman had multiple scratches on her left eyelid, two black eyes, blood in both ears and in her hair, a cut on the back of her head, bruising under her jaw, cuts on her neck, and multiple abrasions, bruises and lacerations all over her body.40 comments on this story
Police found surveillance video from two TRAX stations and a train showing a male matching the description of the attacker. The images were forwarded to law enforcement at two area high schools, and a resource officer from Jordan High School recognized and identified the teen, who he said regularly rides a scooter, the petition states. School surveillance footage showed the teen on the day of the attack wearing the same clothing.
At the teen's home, police said they found bloody clothing with strands of hair that matched the woman's, shoes with tread patterns matching footprints at the scene, and a silver scooter with red wheels.
Information about the teen's criminal history in juvenile court was not available Tuesday.
Those who have experienced sexual abuse or assault can be connected to trained advocates through Utah's statewide 24-hour Rape and Sexual Assault Crisis Line at 888-421-1100.