Lehi woman calls for justice, action after man suspected of voyeurism again
Feb 23, 2022, 8:57 AM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:49 pm
LEHI, Utah — A woman is pleading for someone in the justice system to do something after she said a man who has been charged multiple times for voyeurism and lewdness showed up outside her front window in January to eye her 7-year-old son.
Stephanie Davis said on Jan. 11, she received a distress call from the boy as she ran an errand elsewhere in the neighborhood.
“He’s screaming,” Davis recalled in an interview with KSL TV, “’Mom, there’s a man trying to kidnap me!’”
Davis said her son told her the man had tapped on the window and her home surveillance camera offered some disturbing footage.
“Coming around, peeking around the corner to check to see if my husband’s truck is where it’s at when he’s home and it was gone and this time he was barefoot but he did have a mask and a robe on,” Davis said. “A few minutes later he comes back with slippers on and he stands in my window. We had just one single broken blind slot, and he was staring at my son through this broken blind slot for 20 to 30 minutes.”
Davis put Lehi police on the case, but she also decided to take a closer look herself. She soon uncovered more unsettling footage.
“(I) found (the man) at my house on the seventh and the ninth wearing a mask, looking in my windows,” Davis said.
A conversation with her family left her beside herself.
“My children had mentioned they had seen him naked in the window before, watching them playing,” she said.
Though the man lived close, Davis said she didn’t know much about him or his history until detectives made an arrest.
“That’s when the article popped up and I knew who he was,” Davis said.
Jonathan Jareth Soberanis, 27, was arrested and booked into the Utah County Jail on Feb. 3 and charged on Feb. 7 with two counts of misdemeanor voyeurism.
It was only the latest voyeurism or lewdness case allegedly involving Soberanis.
Last June, prosecutors filed multiple charges including voyeurism and lewdness involving a child after police said he went into a restroom at the Lehi Legacy Center and exposed himself to a 5-year-old boy.
Davis remembered that one specifically.
“I sent (the story) to my husband and said, ‘Please don’t let our son into these restrooms if you go there,’” Davis said.
In all previous cases, Soberanis was found incompetent to stand trial.
Davis said she couldn’t believe he was roaming alone in a residential neighborhood, allegedly looking into windows, given “the fear he’s put into several children, the fear he’s put in my son, and to know there are programs that are allowing this to happen over and over and over.”
“Somebody needs to be accountable,” Davis said.
As of Tuesday evening, Utah County Sheriff’s officials confirmed Soberanis was no longer in jail.
When asked about the case Tuesday, an official with Lehi Police said officers did what they could to investigate the case as thoroughly as possible and it was ultimately up to prosecutors and a judge to decide the man’s fate.
A legal analyst not connected to the case told KSL TV civil commitment to the Utah State Hospital should be an option on the table for prosecutors if Soberanis is once again found not competent to stand trial.
The Utah County Attorney, David Leavitt, responded with the following statement, “The Utah County Attorney’s Office utilizes both criminal charges and civil efforts to keep the community safe. Mr. Soberanis was deemed not competent and non-restorable by a finding from the criminal court. When those charges were dismissed, our office initiated the option of requesting civil commitment. The process and the decision of whether Mr. Soberanis is released to the community is determined by the Division of Services for People with Disabilities. We’ll continue to use all of the tools available to us for any additional incidents involving Mr. Soberanis.”
Davis hoped someone in the justice system might be able to take steps to ensure what happened to her son doesn’t happen to anybody else in the future.
“If he can’t be held responsible, he should not be allowed to live in communities where children are,” Davis said.