SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of walking into University Hospital and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in a waiting area has been charged.
Armando Tobias Lopez, 23, was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony. Court documents list a home address in West Valley City. But University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy said he may have been a transient when he entered the hospital on July 28.
According to charging documents, an 11-year-old girl was sitting in the family waiting room at the hospital when Lopez walked in, sat next to the girl and inappropriately touched her. The girl eventually pushed Lopez away and went to tell her mother, the charges state.
Brophy said Lopez did not work at the hospital and did not have an appointment anywhere in the building at that time. When interviewed by police, Lopez said he "took a blanket out, and that's when all that stuff happened," according to charging documents.
"We're very concerned this happened," said hospital spokeswoman Kathy Wilets. "It is a deeply concerning incident and something we think is completely unacceptable. So we're doing what we can right now to see if there's anything we can do moving forward to improve our security or visitor policy."5 comments on this story
Wilets said the hospital doesn't have a problem of transients wandering in, and she called the entire incident abnormal from what usually goes on there. Still, both the hospital and police say they would work to make improvements to security as well as continue regular patrols of the building.
Hospital administrators have been in contact with the girl's family since the alleged incident, she said.
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.