FAILURE TO PROTECT

Sexual assault survivor says delays in police investigation allowed perpetrator to attack a teenager

Nov 30, 2023, 10:07 PM | Updated: Jan 27, 2024, 4:00 pm

NORTH LOGAN – Inside a small interview room at a police station in Cache County in 2017, Cami Johnson told police what she could about the night she says her ex-husband drugged and sexually assaulted her.

“I sipped on it,” she said, of the small cup she was told contained an energy drink. “And I’m like, yeah that tastes really good, what is it?”

That’s where she says the memory ends.

“I remember nothing else,” she told the detective.

Johnson told the KSL Investigators she did her part – she reported to police. But she said it took officers too long to do their part.

Cami Johnson reported to police in 2017 that she was drugged and sexually assaulted by her ex-husband. (Source: North Park PD)

Nearly two years passed between Johnson’s interview with the police, and detectives’ interview with the suspect, Byron Thad Haderlie. During that time, a 16-year-old girl reported to police in a different county that Haderlie drugged and attempted to sexually assault her too.

“She could have been saved if somebody would have listened,” Johnson told the KSL Investigators. “If somebody would have charged him with mine.”

‘She could have been saved’

Johnson made her report at the North Park Police Department in North Logan. The current chief did not agree to an interview, but in a written statement noted the department has had a 100% turnover since, and no one there today worked on the case.

The police casefile shows Cami reported she was drugged and had a rape kit done at the hospital. Medical records show she had benzodiazepines and Ambien in her system. Later, she found images had been taken of her unclothed and sent to multiple contacts in her phone.

Cami Johnson speaks with the KSL Investigators in September 2023. (Josh Szymanik/KSL-TV)

The records also show police asked Cami to collect witness statements and evidence. And they inactivated their investigation twice without ever contacting Haderlie to get his side.

“A child was hurt that did not need to be in this situation ever,” said Johnson.

Another attempt

In November 2018, more than a year after Johnson’s report, a partially clothed 16-year-old girl in Utah County escaped Haderlie and ran to a neighbor’s home for help. According to court records, she had benzodiazepines in her system too.

Haderlie was charged with felony counts of attempted forcible sexual abuse and aggravated kidnapping. He pleaded “no contest” to attempted forcible sexual abuse and a misdemeanor count of unlawful detention in June 2019 and is serving a prison sentence.

Bryon ‘Thad’ Haderlie appears in court in Cache County for a sentencing in October 2023. (Josh Szymanik/KSL-TV)

The victim in the case told Utah’s Board of Pardons and Parole in January 2020 she is “terrified and traumatized,” and said she still has nightmares. She also noted Haderlie has pleaded guilty to violating protective orders on multiple occasions.

“I’m very fearful for my life and for my family’s lives,” she told the board. “He is very unpredictable, and he has nothing to lose.”

During that same hearing, Haderlie said he doesn’t “agree” with the facts of the case as summarized in the official record.

The board ordered a sex offender treatment memo for Haderlie. His next hearing is scheduled for January.

‘Not until somebody else gets hurt’

Once North Park Police learned about the case involving the teenager in Utah County, they reactivated their investigation into Johnson’s assault.

“I informed [Johnson] that I would screen everything I have with the county attorney’s office to see the direction they would like this investigation to go and try and obtain what I can prior to going down and interviewing Byron,” the detective wrote in March 2019.

Police then met with Haderlie at the Utah County Jail, where he made several statements that did not line up with evidence in the case and other witness accounts. Haderlie even denied being alone with Johnson the night of the assault.

“When it comes back to a match to your DNA, here’s the problem that you’ve just locked yourself into,” the detective told Haderlie, “You can’t even now say it was consensual, because you’re saying, ‘I didn’t do anything.’”

Detectives interviewed Haderlie about Johnson’s report in April 2019. (Source: North Park PD)

Cache County prosecutors filed several felony charges against Haderlie in the case involving Johnson in February 2021. In August this year, he pleaded guilty to felony counts of surreptitious administering of a substance, distribution of an intimate image, and attempted forcible sexual abuse.

Haderlie told the judge during his sentencing in October that he has changed since being incarcerated, he apologized to Johnson, and he told the judge he would like an opportunity to move forward.

“I sit here today and take full accountability and responsibility for my actions and my decisions,” Haderlie said.

But when reached by phone, Ryan Holdaway, the defense attorney who represented Haderlie in the case, said Haderlie “maintains his innocence,” despite pleading guilty.

Johnson told the KSL Investigators – outside of the help and kindness she received from victim advocates – the entire process left her feeling failed by Utah’s justice system, a sentiment that only intensified when she read through the police records from her case.

“I cried,” she said. “Because there’s so many inaccuracies for number one, and not to see one time in that whole document that I had come and pled.”

While police documented instances of not being able to reach Johnson by phone, she noted they did not document several visits she says she made to the police station in person to inquire about the status of the investigation, including one visit that is documented by an audio recording she shared with the KSL Investigators.

“You think you call, and you get help,” she said. “No, no, not until somebody else gets hurt, or you get hurt, or you’re dead, does somebody listen.”

The North Park Police Department in North Logan, Utah. (Josh Szymanik/KSL-TV)

In a written statement provided to the KSL Investigators, North Park Police Chief Kent Goodrich said, “we can speak with confidence that the Department is currently comprised of detectives and officers who combined, have 25 years of experience related to investigating sex offenses. We have placed a great emphasis on continued training intended to improve the skill, efficiency, and solicitude of our detectives and officers who investigate sex crimes.”

‘Not enough evidence’

A third report naming Haderlie has not led to any charges.

“They told me that unfortunately, there’s no evidence,” the woman involved told the KSL Investigators. “So, they’re going to drop the case.”

The accuser, who now lives out of state and did not wish to be identified, contacted police in 2021 and reported she believes Haderlie drugged and raped her 10 years earlier, in 2011.

“I was very frustrated with the justice system because of the way they treated the case,” she said.

A third woman who did not wish to be identified spoke with the KSL Investigators about her report of sexual assault against Haderlie. (Ken Fall/KSL-TV)

An Orem police report details challenges in getting in touch with a potential witness. A final entry states the detective spoke with a prosecutor about the investigation in July of this year before deciding to close the case.

“Sometimes there’ll be a mutual conclusion that there’s just not enough evidence there to move forward with the case,” said Utah County Attorney Jeff Gray.

Gray said that is why the case was not formally screened by his office.

“This case is kind of a cold case, an SVU cold case, where we’ve kind of run into dead ends,” he said.

Gray said sexual assault cases are already among the most difficult to prove, and this one is complicated by the accusers’ memory loss and the fact that police couldn’t get in contact with the potential witness.

“It is frustrating for us,” Gray said, discussing cases that prosecutors cannot move forward with due to evidentiary issues.

And frustrating for the woman who came forward.

“Everything in this society is based on the justice system,” she said. “And if the justice system fails, then what’s left?”

The women who’ve reported Haderlie hope their stories highlight the importance of holding violent perpetrators accountable.

“All we care about is he never does it to anyone else,” said Johnson. “Stop him.”

This report is part of a series examining how apparent gaps at every level of Utah’s criminal justice system fail to protect Utahns.


If you have experienced sexual violence, you can access help and resources by calling Utah’s 24-hour Sexual Violence Helpline at 1-888-421-1100. You can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 for free, confidential counseling.

Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

KSL 5 TV Live

Failure to Protect

Proposed legislation aimed at boosting Utah's low sexual assault prosecution rate appears to be sta...

Daniella Rivera

Will lawmakers consider bill to boost Utah’s low rate of sex assault prosecutions?

Imagine being sexually assaulted, reporting to police, getting a forensic exam at the hospital and still being told your perpetrator can't be prosecuted under Utah's current rape law. That happens more than you might think, but Utah lawmakers have been reluctant to adopt what experts say is a sound solution.

1 month ago

Cami Johnson speaks with the KSL Investigators in January 2024....

Daniella Rivera

‘This is a mistake’: Utah woman shocked to learn perpetrator granted parole just months after sentencing

A Utah woman fought for years to hold her perpetrator accountable only to find out via a text that he'd been granted parole just a few months after his sentencing. The KSL Investigators report on challenges in notifying victims of parole hearings and what Utah’s parole board says it's doing to fix that.

1 month ago

Republican Representative Tyler Clancy of Provo is sponsoring legislation aimed at improving Utah's...

Daniella Rivera

Provo lawmaker sponsoring bill aimed at improving Utah’s justice system for crime victims

A Utah lawmaker is sponsoring legislation aimed at improving Utah’s justice system for victims of crime.

2 months ago

man and a woman have a conversation at a table...

Daniella Rivera

Troubling Trend: KSL Investigators uncover sexual assault cases closed without attempts to contact suspects

Sexual assault reports to police collecting dust or closed all together, without a key interview ever taking place – It's a troubling trend uncovered by the KSL Investigators who have been digging into gaps in Utah's justice system for more than a year.

2 months ago

An internal audit of Utah’s Sex Offender Registry not only confirmed a recent KSL Investigation t...

Daniella Rivera

Audit prompted by KSL Investigation confirms hundreds of convicted sex offenders missing from Utah’s registry

An internal audit of Utah’s Sex Offender Registry not only confirmed a recent KSL Investigation that found convicted sex offenders missing from the registry, but revealed the number of people who did not appear on the registry is higher than we initially knew.

3 months ago

Utah’s newly created Sex Offense Management Board, created in response to a KSL Investigation, re...

Daniella Rivera

Newly created sex offense management board looking into issues with Utah’s registry

Utah’s Sex Offense Management Board is looking into issues with the state’s registry and discussed a recent KSL Investigation during its public meeting on Wednesday.

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Sexual assault survivor says delays in police investigation allowed perpetrator to attack a teenager