A Helper city councilman was arrested recently after a neighbor said he came into her home and groped her.
Darren Cloward, 49, was booked into the Carbon County jail for investigation of forcible sexual abuse and burglary, both felonies. He’s also being investigated for misdmeanor charges of trespassing, intoxication and making a false statement.
Helper is a town of about 2,100 residents located approximately 110 miles southeast of Salt Lake City and 7 miles northwest of Price.
According to a probable cause statement, Cloward’s neighbor told police that on June 10, he came into her house “uninvited” — purportedly to check on his daughter, who was playing in the neighbor’s yard — sat down next to her on the couch “and made some suggestive statements about her and her swimsuit.” She said he returned a second time, went downstairs to her bedroom while she was changing and “touched her breast through the bed sheets.”
The neighbor told police Cloward had been drinking; police said he “smelled of alcohol” when he was interviewed.
According to police, Cloward admitted he went into his neighbor's house twice but denied that he had gone downstairs or groped her. In the probable cause statement, the police investigator wrote that Cloward's daughter said she had “seen him go downstairs after coming into the house.”
Cloward has been released from jail. The neighbor has received a temporary restraining order, telling Cloward not to follow, threaten, annoy, harass or contact in any way the neighbor, her husband or their two children.
The investigation was conducted by the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office because Cloward remains a member of the Helper City Council. He was selected to fill an open position by other members of the City Council in 2018; his term expires in January 2020.