A 34-year-old man who is accused of raping a lesbian “to fix the gay” has been arrested, and law enforcement is trying to determine if the alleged assault was a hate crime.
The woman told police she was visiting a friend’s house in Salt Lake City when her friend went to bed, leaving the woman alone with her friend’s husband, according to a probable cause statement. Both husband and wife had been drinking, police said.
After the man’s wife went to sleep, the woman said the man started trying to sit “closer and closer” to her. The woman told police she wanted to leave but said the man persuaded her to stay and walk with him to a convenience store to buy beer.
When they returned to the house, the woman said the man pulled up her shirt, touched her and then further molested her. When the woman told him to stop, according to court documents, he allegedly asked her “if she was sure she didn’t like it” and “if she was sure she was gay.”
The woman told police she tried to leave and went outside to her car, but the man allegedly grabbed her neck and pulled her back inside and threw her down some stairs to his basement.
The woman said she tried to get the man to stop by reminding him of his wife and children upstairs and that she was a lesbian. According to court documents, the man told her he was “going to fix the gay.”
The woman then described to police a violent assault in which the man allegedly choked her and sexually assaulted her.
The woman eventually was able to escape, she said. She fled to her home and told one of her roommates what happened.
The woman reported the assault to police later. Police said they found evidence to corroborate the woman’s story.
When police arrested the man, he told them, “I did not rape anyone,” and asked for a lawyer, according to court documents.
He was booked into Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of object rape, forcible sodomy, kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and forcible sexual abuse. His bond is set at $150,000.
Salt Lake City police spokesman Greg Wilking said investigators are working with prosecutors to see if the alleged assault qualifies as a hate crime.
“Ultimately the decision rests with [prosecutors],” Wilking said. “We feel for the victim and want to do what is right for her.”
The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not identify alleged sexual assault victims or people accused of crimes who have not been charged.