CRIME

Sandy store employee charged with sexually abusing teen seeking vape pen

Jul 6, 2023, 10:23 AM | Updated: 2:11 pm

Over the course of nearly a decade, a Montana ranch owner and at least five other people conspired ...

Over the course of nearly a decade, a Montana ranch owner and at least five other people conspired to clone sheep and create a larger hybrid species of what is already considered the world’s largest sheep species for financial gain, according to federal prosecutors. (FILE PHOTO)

(FILE PHOTO)

SANDY, Utah — A Sandy man has been charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl after agreeing to sell her a vape pen from his store.

Prem Kumar Gundu, 30, was charged Monday in 3rd District Court with object rape, a first-degree felony; forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony; and the unlawful sale of vapes, an infraction.

The investigation began in January when a 15-year-old girl went to a tobacco store near 9900 South and 700 East to buy nicotine vapes. Gundu agreed to sell the teen e-cigarettes — even though she was too young to do so — but told her that she “needed to go to the back of the store to complete the transaction where they won’t be on camera,” according to charging documents.

The girl told police that in the back room, Gundu inappropriately touched her and then gave her the vape pen, the charges allege. The teen told her boyfriend, who was outside, what had happened and he confronted Gundu.

Gundu gave the couple “‘a bunch of vapes’ and told them not to contact law enforcement,” according to the charges. The girl, however, told her mom what had happened when she got home. The mother contacted police who questioned Gundu.

He told police at first that he was “seduced” by the teen. But “after changing his story multiple times,” he admitted to inappropriately touching her and then giving her four vape pens, the charges state.

Gundu was initially arrested in January. A new warrant was issued for his arrest on Monday.

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Sandy store employee charged with sexually abusing teen seeking vape pen