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Provo man accused of raping girl he met on Facebook

Published September 20, 2013 7:33 am

Crime • Police created a fake account, posing as a teen, to nab him.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Provo man is charged with raping a 14-year-old girl after luring her on Facebook.

The 31-year-old man was charged Thursday in 4th District Court with rape, a first-degree felony, along with unlawful sexual activity with a minor, a lessor felony, as well as enticing a minor, unlawful possession of another's identification documents, and false personal information to a police officer, all misdemeanors.

The man made his initial appearance in court Friday and was appointed a public defender.

The man, who claimed to be 19, met the victim through Facebook in December, according to the charges. They chatted frequently, and he eventually enticed her to meet secretly with him sometime in January; they did, at a Provo park after dark, where he assaulted her, the charges add.

She cried and told him to stop, which he eventually did and then drove her home, according to the charges. They kept chatting online, and the victim agreed to have consensual sex with him, which they did in Provo sometime later, the charges add.

"In August 2013 the victim and her mother got into an argument and the victim told her mother about her interactions with [the man]," the charges read. The mother called the police.

Police say that they had a difficult time identifying the man because his Facebook page had false information about him. So they contacted other girls he was Facebook friends with and confirmed that he had tried, repeatedly and unsuccessfully, to get the girls to meet him in person, the charges detail.

On Sept. 11, police set up a Facebook page posing as a 15-year-old girl and added him as a friend. He responded immediately and urged the "15-year-old" to meet him, according to the charges. Investigators say they arranged to meet the next day at a Provo park.

He arrived alone, and when stopped by the police, he gave police a different name, and produced a Utah State Identification Card for the false name. He eventually admitted that the card belonged to his cousin, who is no longer in the country, the charges add.

"[The man] gave a false story for why he was in the park and claimed to have never heard of the 15-year-old girl with whom he had been chatting previously," the charges read. "During an impound search of his vehicle, officers found multiple unused condoms."

Officers arrested him and booked him into Utah County Jail. He is still in custody, and his bail is set at $5,000.

mmcfall@sltrib.com Twitter: @mikeypanda




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