LOCAL NEWS

Former employee sues Provo City, claiming she was raped outside the Rec Center

Jan 3, 2022, 11:06 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:33 pm

PROVO, Utah — A Utah woman is filing a lawsuit against the city of Provo after she says she was raped while leaving work in July of 2020.

The 20-year-old woman worked as a lifeguard at the Provo Recreation Center.

She says she twice reported to a supervisor that a man at the pool was making inappropriate advances toward her, even told her he “fantasized” about her, and her supervisor did nothing.

“I told her what he said and she just said, ‘What do you want me to do?’”

Earlier in the day, she says a co-worker told her the man asked what her name was and what time she got off work.

That evening, as she was leaving work, she heard someone yell her name.

“He called my name and was walking toward me,” she described.

The woman says she ignored him, rushed to her car and got inside. That’s when she made a big mistake.

“As I was trying to lock the door, I accidentally unlocked it — my hands were shaking,” she said.

That’s when she says the man forced his way into her car and assaulted her.

The woman didn’t immediately report the crime, saying she was in denial about what had happened.

In September, she went to police.

She says they told her there was no camera in the parking lot and no evidence, so they closed the case.

That’s when the girl’s parents hired Erika Larsen, a local attorney.

Larsen says she sent a notice to the city last February, with regards to a pending lawsuit. She has still not heard back.

So now, they are planning to serve the city with the lawsuit.

While they know the suit won’t change the facts, they say the city needs to take responsibility, train and protect employees, and help track down the offender, who is still on the loose.

“I want the Rec Center and the city to acknowledge this could have easily been prevented with proper training,” the victim said.

Nicole Martin, spokesperson for Provo City, released the following statement to KSL-TV Monday:

“The safety of Provo City employees is of utmost importance to us, with protection protocols in place. While we have not yet received the lawsuit and cannot comment specifically, what has been reported to us as being included seems to involve some different perspectives than came out in our civil and criminal investigations following an earlier claim. Once we have seen the specifics in the lawsuit, we will reopen the investigation to try to resolve those differences.”

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Former employee sues Provo City, claiming she was raped outside the Rec Center