Former University of Utah diver charged with rape

An arrest warrant has been issued for the man, who police say fled to his home in Canada after learning of a rape investigation.

Courtesy of the University of Utah. The University of Utah.

After allegedly fleeing the country upon learning he was being investigated by police, a former University of Utah diver has been charged with raping another Utah student.

The charges filed in the 3rd District Court allege that Benjamin Dennis Kai Smyth, 19, raped and sexually abused a woman in her dorm room on Aug. 16, 2022. According to charging documents, Smyth went into the woman’s room, took off her clothes without her consent and forced her to perform multiple sexual acts before he raped her.

When police questioned Smyth, he originally claimed he did not know the women who he allegedly raped, according to court documents. However, as the interview went on, police said he acknowledged having sex with the woman. Smyth also told police that he knew the woman was in pain while they were having sex, court documents show.

When police showed up at Smyth’s dorm room days later to serve him a temporary protective order, his roommate told police that Smyth had cleaned out his room and moved, according to court documents. A private investigator told police that Smyth had fled the country after he realized he was being investigated for rape, per the charging documents.

Police say Smyth returned to Canada, his home country.

Smyth was suspended from the swimming and diving team on Feb. 20.

“On February 16 we were made aware of a serious allegation involving a member of our men’s swimming and diving program,” the athletic department wrote in a prepared statement. “Upon being notified by the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) of a pending investigation, Ben Smyth was immediately suspended on Feb. 20 from all team activities. We take matters of this type very seriously, and have continued to monitor the situation. We will not have further comment as this matter proceeds through the legal process.”

Smyth has been charged with one count of rape, one count of forcible sodomy and one count of sexual abuse. Two of the three counts are first-degree felonies, which carry a punishment of five years to life in prison if convicted. The one count of sexual abuse is a second-degree felony, which carries a possible sentence of one to 15 years in prison.

Smyth was a sophomore on the Utah swimming and diving team. As a freshman last year, he finished second in platform diving at the Pac-12 championships.

An arrest warrant is currently out for Smyth. Prosecutors have requested Smyth be held without bail, arguing that Smyth has already fled “only after learning of an investigation,” court documents show.

Prosecutors also outlined that Smyth often bragged about the number of women he slept with and kept, “a list of women he has sex with and shares the list with people to show off and ‘feed his ego,’” according to court documents.