Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Former Wasatch County deputy pleads guilty in jail assault case
Courts » Civil lawsuits filed by two female inmates are still pending.
First Published Aug 30 2013 06:18 pm • Last Updated Aug 30 2013 10:53 pm

A former Wasatch County Sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to taking advantage of his position as a jail guard to physically abuse two female inmates.

Christopher Stein Epperson, 35, pleaded guilty to two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, admitting that in December 2009 and September 2010 he caused bodily injury to two inmates at the Wasatch County Jail by touching the women’s breasts; he also touched one inmate’s genitals.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Each count carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. U.S. District Judge David Sam will sentence Epperson on Nov. 4.

Epperson initially faced nine counts related to violating the inmates’ rights and four counts of unauthorized access to a computer. A trial was set to begin Sept. 9.

Epperson was fired in October 2010.

Both victims have filed civil lawsuits that name Epperson, the Wasatch County Jail and the Utah Department of Corrections as defendants. One victim alleges in her lawsuit that Epperson began making sexually suggestive comments about her appearance shortly after she was placed at the jail inMarch 2010, and those comments quickly escalated in intensity, frequency and luridness. When the inmate refused to lift her shirt so Epperson could take photos of her breasts with his cellphone, he allegedly threatened to place her in lock-down status. She then complied. He then allegedly began taking her to a windowless room at night where he took additional photographs and molested her.

According to the inmate’s lawsuit, Epperson threatened to file paperwork that would result in a longer sentence if she reported his behavior. Despite those threats, the inmate reported the assaults to staff and caseworkers at the jail, but no action was taken.

The other victim alleges Epperson sexually assaulted her while she was at the jail between September 2009 and April 2010.

Epperson was fired in October 2010. He sued the county, the sheriff’s department and the deputy jail commander in June 2012 alleging he was wrongfully fired and that a discriminatory and permissive environment at the jail led to false accusations of sexual harassment from a female inmate. That case was put on hold last year pending the resolution of the criminal charges.


story continues below
story continues below

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.