CRIME

Additional sex charges filed against Utah businessman; prosecutors fear more victims possible

Mar 28, 2023, 10:58 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of sexually abusing multiple women at a party in Davis County last summer now faces new charges in Salt Lake County.

Over the past month, prosecutors have filed felony charges in two additional cases against 46-year-old businessman and singles group organizer Kevin Linford.

The cases — which are from 2016 and 2022 — bring the total number of cases filed against Linford in Salt Lake County to four, and are all separate from the allegations made by five different women who attended the same party in Fruit Heights last August.

“You don’t see very often multiple victims over an extended period of time in this fashion, and so we’re taking this very seriously,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said in an interview with KSL TV.

The most recent case against Linford was filed on March 14, and stems from a July 15, 2022 birthday party.

According to charging documents, a woman told investigators Linford led her under a tree in a backyard and the two were laying there together when she stated Linford pulled her shorts down and assaulted her. Detectives wrote that the woman told Linford, “I don’t think this is right” and “I shouldn’t be doing this.”

Linford was charged with first-degree felony rape and forcible sodomy as well as misdemeanor lewdness.

On Feb. 28, a second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse charge was filed against Linford related to a date in early Nov. 2016. The woman, according to charging documents, told Linford she was a member of a church, was recently divorced, and was not interested in anything sexual or even kissing.

Investigators wrote that the woman stated she and Linford were at her apartment in Bluffdale and were sitting on the couch when Linford allegedly grabbed the woman’s hand and touched himself with it, and as she stood up and asked what he was doing, she said he “pulled down his pants and exposed” himself.

Linford, the documents stated, then continued to follow the woman around her apartment before the woman was able to escape out her own door.

Salt Lake County prosecutors earlier in February and last November filed two other felony cases against Linford.

On Feb. 10, prosecutors filed a second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse charge against Linford connected to a July 29-30, 2022 party at a Salt Lake County bar that had been planned by a social media group.

In charging documents, the woman stated that Linford sexually assaulted her in the parking lot, after she had already told Linford she wasn’t comfortable.

In November, Linford was charged with five counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse stemming from an incident at The Westerner in which a woman stated that Linford grabbed her and forced her to grab him multiple times.

“There seems to be a common theme — that there are events that are organized or events that he goes to, allegedly, and engages in this behavior,” Gill said. “It’s concerning.”

Gill said because the cases that span roughly six years, prosecutors are worried about the potential more women could have fallen victim at some point.

He said he hoped prosecutors were already aware of all the cases, but he urged anyone who had a negative encounter with Linford and had not yet come forward to report the matter to police.

“I’m here to tell you there’s law enforcement and community resources,” Gill said. “We want to help. And if you’re a victim, we encourage you to come forward and report this.”

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Additional sex charges filed against Utah businessman; prosecutors fear more victims possible