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Logan man sues city, police over alleged sexual attack at hospital

Published February 13, 2013 5:51 pm

Courts • Lawsuit claims Logan police officer showed a "knowing and reckless indifference" for not stopping the attack.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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 Logan man alleges in a civil lawsuit that a city police officer's negligence allowed an emergency room technician to sexually assault him last year at Logan Regional Medical Center.

Brett Jensen filed a complaint in U.S. District Court on Tuesday that names Logan City Police Officer James Gale, Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen, the city and its police department as defendants.

Gale arrested Brett Jensen, who was highly intoxicated, around 10:50 p.m. on Jan. 20, 2012, after responding to a dispute call. Gale handcuffed Brett Jensen and transported him to the Cache County jail, but the man passed out and was unresponsive by the time they arrived.

Gale then called an ambulance and accompanied Brett Jensen as he was taken to and treated at the hospital. Brett Jensen alleges in his lawsuit that Gale positioned himself at a nurse's station to complete his arrest report, leaving him alone in an exam room while still unresponsive and in handcuffs, and thus unable to defend himself.

Shortly before 1 a.m. on Jan. 21, Gale went to check on Brett Jensen and, as he pulled back a curtain, saw Hal Lavaun Weston, an emergency room technician, performing oral sex on the unconscious man.

Chief Gary Jensen told the Salt Lake Tribune last year that the officer summoned hospital security, who detained Weston. The chief also told The Tribune that Weston was questioned by detectives and then arrested.

According to Brett Jensen's complaint, Weston was allowed to finish his shift and leave the hospital.

Jail records show that Weston, 47, of Laketown, was booked into the Cache County jail at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 21.

On Jan. 24, Cache County prosecutors charged Weston in 1st District Court with one count of first-degree felony forcible sodomy. He is set to stand trial in May.

Brett Jensen claims Gale showed a "knowing and reckless indifference" because he did not stop the attack. According to the lawsuit, Weston freely entered in and out of the room for an additional 30 minutes after Gale initially witnessed the sexual assault. Brett Jensen also asserts that Weston was not arrested until he arrived back at the hospital for his next work shift.

Logan City Attorney Kymber Housley said Wednesday he had not yet seen the complaint and couldn't respond to its allegations except to say that as soon as Gale saw what was happening, the attack was stopped.

Brett Jensen asks for an unspecified amount of damages. He also has filed a personal injury lawsuit in state court. On Wednesday, Logan city, its police department, and the officer were dismissed from that lawsuit.

brooke@sltrib.com