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Mental health crisis worker charged with harboring runaway former patient, raping her

Edward Cann, a former West Valley City police officer, has been held without bail since his arrest earlier in July.

A crisis worker at Salt Lake Behavioral Health was charged Monday with allegedly raping a 14-year-old former patient who had run away from home and was staying at his house.

Edward Cann, who police say worked in a mental health unit with youths, was arrested earlier this month and has been held without bail in the Salt Lake County jail. He is facing eight counts of first-degree felony rape, in addition to a felony obstruction of justice charge and two misdemeanors, according to charging documents filed Monday by Salt Lake County prosecutors.

The documents allege the girl stayed in Cann’s apartment in West Valley City from June 29 through July 3, after she ran away from her home.

While she stayed at Cann’s apartment, the documents allege, Cann had sex with her multiple times. Although the girl told investigators the sexual contact was consensual, 14-year-olds cannot legally consent to sex with adults in Utah.

Kreg Gillman, CEO of Salt Lake Behavioral Health, wrote in an email Tuesday that Cann no longer works at the health center. Cann was fired in early July after the health center learned of the allegations and conducted their own investigation into him, Gillman said.

“Salt Lake Behavioral Health has stringent policies in place for the background checks, hiring, and training of all employees,” Gillman said in a statement. “We condemn the alleged behavior displayed by the individual referenced as it is inconsistent with our standards and values.”

The charging documents indicate the girl left the apartment on July 3, sometime after one of Cann’s former West Valley City police colleagues, who now works for Taylorsville police, called Cann to ask why police were looking for him.

Cann allegedly told the Taylorsville sergeant that he had deleted his social media messages with the girl and had looked up the law against harboring a runaway. He “joked” that the girl would put money in his commissary if he went to jail, the document said.

Cann then told the girl to leave, documents allege. Police later found her at a friend’s house.

Unified police spokesperson Sgt. Melody Cutler said that sergeant is under criminal investigation.

Taylorsville spokesperson Kim Horiuchi said the police department hasn’t disciplined or placed this sergeant on leave because they haven’t received any information that the sergeant did anything wrong. Horiuchi said the charging documents don’t allege the sergeant committed any crimes.

On the same day the girl left his home, the documents allege, Cann went to the veterans hospital for a mental health issue and was checked into treatment.

The charging documents don’t say when or why police began investigating Cann.

Cann’s LinkedIn profile says he has worked at Salt Lake Behavioral Health since February. He worked at West Valley City Police Department before that, from June 2017 to November 2020. Before that, the profile says he spent more than eight years in the U.S. Navy.

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