Former BYU groundskeeper sexual assault case dismissed

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A sexual assault case against a former BYU grounds supervisor was dismissed Friday due to insufficient evidence. Utah county prosecutor Jared Perkins moved to dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning the case can be retried in the future. 

The supervisor was fired from the university in December 2019 following allegations of sexually assaulting an employee, at which point the Utah County Attorney’s Office charged him with the first-degree felony of object rape and second-degree felony of forcible sexual abuse.

The state is required in criminal trials to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the act happened and involved a lack of consent. 

“The burden is completely on the state,” Perkins said. “We have an ethical obligation not to prosecute when there’s not enough evidence.”

Perkins emphasized the validity of the alleged victim’s situation, despite the case’s dismissal.

“My sympathies go out to her,” Perkins said. “Just because we can’t meet the level of unreasonable doubt doesn’t mean we don’t believe something improper happened.”

Sexual assault cases are frequently dismissed due to insufficient evidence, Perkins said. The Rape, Assault, and Incest National Network reports that out of every 1,000 sexual assaults that occur, only 230 are reported to the police and only five cases lead to a felony conviction. 

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