West Valley man charged with raping woman at Cedar City concert

Sep 26, 2022, 6:20 PM | Updated: Nov 18, 2022, 11:06 pm

CEDAR CITY, Utah — A West Valley City, Utah man was charged Friday with raping a woman at an outdoor festival concert in Cedar City last year.

Robert Jacob Garcia, 23, is charged in 5th District Court with rape and object rape, first-degree felonies; and two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

On July 31, 2021, Iron County sheriff’s deputies working at the Landslide Festival at Three Peaks Oasis near Cedar City were notified of a woman found walking with no clothing on. The victim was spotted by another woman who took her to one of the festival tents and gave her clothes and contacted authorities.

Investigators learned that the woman and her friends were staying at a campsite near the concert area and that Garcia was in the campsite next to theirs, according to charging documents. The woman did not know Garcia, but he visited their campsite and tried to socialize with her and her friends.

The woman, however, told police that Garcia “was bugging her, something was off with him, and she wanted him to stay away from her,” the charges state.

Later that night during the concert, the woman was dancing with her friends in the middle of the crowd when she said Garcia approached and tried to dance with her. The woman tried to move away but Garcia kept following her, according to the charges.

“Toward the end of the concert, (the woman) felt a hand cover her mouth and another arm grab her by the hip and drag her out of the crowd,” the charges allege.

Police say Garcia took the woman to a pond area away from the concert and sexually assaulted her. After police and her friends were called, the woman told her friend she had been assaulted by “the male in the campground next to theirs that gave them both weird vibes,” the charges state.

Police went to the camp area and saw Garcia as he exited his tent. Garcia walked away from the officers and refused to stop when told to do so, and then ran through a wooded area, according to the charges. Backup deputies were called to surround the area and Garcia was eventually found and arrested.

In December, Garcia was convicted of failing to stop at the command of law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor, for running from officers.

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West Valley man charged with raping woman at Cedar City concert