West Jordan man ordered to stand trial in sexual assaults at party for singles

Jan 28, 2023, 12:55 PM | Updated: 1:19 pm
A former administrator of a popular Facebook group used for inviting singles to parties was ordered...
A former administrator of a popular Facebook group used for inviting singles to parties was ordered Friday to stand trial for multiple counts of sexual assault at a Fruit Heights party. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

FARMINGTON , Utah— A former administrator of a popular Facebook group used for inviting singles to parties and other events was ordered Friday to stand trial on multiple charges of rape and sexual abuse.

Kevin Linford, 46, of West Jordan, was bound over in Farmington’s 2nd District Court on charges of rape and two counts of object rape, first-degree felonies; six counts of forcible sexual abuse, second-degree felonies; aggravated kidnapping, a third-degree felony; and lewdness, a class B misdemeanor.

Linford is accused of pulling one woman into a closet and raping her during a party in Fruit Heights on Aug. 6, 2022, and then sexually assaulting a second woman at the same event. Both women said they did not know Linford before the event.

Prosecutors presented statements Friday from three other women who claim Linford sexually assaulted them at the same party.

Harvey Woodyatt, the owner of the home where the party was held, testified that he contacted Linford in June 2022 when he wanted to advertise his parties on the “Wolfpack” Facebook page, of which Linford was the administrator.

Linford agreed and later attended one of Woodyatt’s parties, held on Aug. 6, 2022. Woodyatt said he knows one of the alleged victims well, he knows three only from meeting them at that night’s party, and he doesn’t know one of the alleged victims at all. He has five cameras set up around the outside of his home but none inside, he said.

One of the alleged victims seemed “normal, as far as I could tell,” when he spoke with her at the party, Woodyatt testified. He said he didn’t find out until Aug. 8 that Linford had been kicked out of the party at some point that night for alleged misconduct.

Linford’s attorneys asked Woodyatt multiple questions about when he learned particular details, when he shared surveillance footage with law enforcement officers, and if he shared information with any of the alleged victims. Woodyatt said law enforcement didn’t give him many details, but he passed what he learned on to the alleged victim whom he knows well. He said he was unsure what, if anything, he told the only other alleged victim that he’s had regular contact with about the case.

Woodyatt said he was unsure of the timeline regarding when he heard which allegations from whom. He also said he did not provide alcohol at the party but that guests could bring their own.

Davis County deputy attorney Matthew Hansen reviewed statements from each of the alleged victims, noting a pattern of “aggressive” and “forceful” behavior. Multiple women claim Linford touched them over and under their clothing, he said. One claims that Linford followed her into a bathroom and exposed himself to her, and one claims he raped her in a closet.

Williams determined that he’d heard enough evidence to send the case to trial.

“The main evidence that I am relying on to make my ruling today are the statements … by the alleged victims,” he said.

In a separate case, Linford is also charged in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court with five counts of forcible sexual abuse, second-degree felonies, accusing him of grabbing a woman through and under her clothes in September 2016 at the Westerner Club, 3360 S. Redwood Road, and forcing her to touch him through and under his clothes, court records show. The charges were filed in November.

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West Jordan man ordered to stand trial in sexual assaults at party for singles