University of Utah employee accused of raping woman on campus
A University of Utah employee broke into a woman's house over the weekend, abducted her and then took her back to the college to rape her, Sandy police said Monday.
Sandy police allege Lonnie Dell Norton, 49, broke into the woman's residence about 2 a.m. Sunday and threatened his victim, with whom he is acquainted, with a gun, duct-taped her mouth and carried her out to his vehicle.
He then drove her to a building on the campus and raped her, police said.
Norton took her back to her Sandy home about 7:15 a.m., where she called 911, police said.
Norton was arrested several hours later.
The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not identify sexual assault victims, and therefore is not providing further detail about Norton's relationship with the woman.
Norton was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and object rape, all first-degree felonies; forcible sex abuse, a second-degree felony; violating a protective order, a class A misdemeanor; and interruption of a communication device, a class B misdemeanor.
Court records show that Norton's victim was granted a protective order against Norton in October.
University of Utah records show that Norton is director of College Computing for the College of Humanities.
In a statement, the University of Utah said it was aware of the allegations against Norton.
"The University of Utah has no tolerance for use of its facilities in violation of University policy or the law," according to the statement. "University employees who commit violent acts on University property are not eligible to remain employed at the University and will be excluded from campus."
The statement added that the university does not comment on individual personnel actions or ongoing investigations.
Holly Mullen, executive director of the Rape Recovery Center, said such incidents show that there is still a lot of work to be done in preventing sexual assaults. She said the victim in this case appears to have taken all the correct steps to stay safe and did everything she could to avoid such an incident.
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