UV crime: Groper on the loose in Provo; goblin vandals will pay fine, won’t do time

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A surveillance camera on the BYU campus caught footage of a runner they suspect to be the groper.  (Photo courtesy BYU Police)

A surveillance camera on the BYU campus caught footage of a runner they suspect to be the groper. (Photo courtesy BYU Police)

Serial groper on the loose near BYU

More than a dozen women have come forward as victims of a groper on and near Brigham Young University’s campus. The incidents started in January, and so far at least a dozen women have told police they’ve been victimized.

Sometimes he grabs a woman’s breast as he walks or runs by; in other instances he reaches out and grabs women as they go by him. In one case this week, he broke into an apartment at Wyview student housing and groped a woman. Police believe they’re looking for one suspect, described as a white man in his early 20s. He’s thin — about 150 pounds — and at least 5 feet 6 inches tall.

If you see the suspect or are a victim, call BYU police at (801) 422-2222.

Goblin vandals avoid jail

Two Highland men pleaded guilty this week to knocking over an ancient rock formation — known as a goblin — at Goblin Valley State Park last year. Glenn Taylor – who did the physical labor of destroying the formation — pleaded guilty to criminal mischief. David Hall — who filmed the incident — pleaded guilty to attempted criminal mischief. They’ll serve a year of probation. They also will be paying to warn others not to make the same mistake; the state will use money the two pay in fines to put up signs warning visitors that it’s a crime to disturb the rocks.

The two men were on a Boy Scout trip when they destroyed the formation. They weren’t Scout leaders for much longer though; they were relieved of their duties after they posted the video online and it got international attention.

Second person arrested in Orem City check fraud

A man wanted by Orem City for writing checks on the city’s account was arrested in Salt Lake City. Shawn Laroque, 36, joined 36-year-old Amanda Dixon, who was the first to be arrested in the scheme.

Orem’s bank account was frozen last month after the city noticed a problem when the amount on a check written to a business was changed from $500 to $1,800 and the name on the check changed. Then other checks started showing up with problems.

Provo casts DUI net for green drinkers

Provo police concentrated efforts to get inebriated St. Patrick’s Day revelers off roads on Saturday. They made 71 traffic stops, arrested five people on DUI charges, impounded five cars, did 11 field sobriety tests, had four K-9 searches, served two warrants, handed out 32 citations, warned 41 drivers instead of giving citations and recognized seven designated drivers.

Child rape trial goes forward

A man will face a jury on charges of child rape, aggravated sexual abuse of a child and sodomy on a child, likely before the state Supreme Court hears an appeal on the case to mention his similar past convictions at trial.

The state wants to mention his conviction from New York during the trial, but the judge denied the request.

Prosecutors appealed the ruling and are waiting for the state court to hear the arguments; meanwhile, the defendant, James Cuttler Sr., will use his right to have a speedy trial. He was in court on Wednesday, and the judge set the trial to begin on May 19. He’s been in jail since he was arrested in October 2012.

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Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

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