Charges: Salt Lake man, 78, kidnapped, sexually assaulted teen walking home from school

May 29, 2024, 11:53 AM | Updated: 8:16 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A 78-year-old Salt Lake man is facing seven felony charges accusing him of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a teenage girl who was walking home from school.

Tevita Hoihoi Mounga was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with aggravated kidnapping, two counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of object rape and aggravated sexual assault, all first-degree felonies; and damaging a cellphone, a class B misdemeanor.

On March 6, a 16-year-old girl was walking home from school while carrying cupcakes near 500 North and 1000 West when police say Mounga, whom the teen did not know, pulled up next to her in his truck.

Mounga apparently pointed at the cupcakes. The teen could not hear what he was saying, “so she opened the door to the vehicle.” That’s when “Mounga grabbed (her) and drove away,” according to charging documents.

When the girl’s phone began to ring, Mounga took it and threw the phone out the window, police say. He then drove the girl to a parking lot near the airport and sexually assaulted her, the charges state.

The teen was eventually able to fight off Mounga, get out of his truck and run, according to investigators.

Using surveillance video, Salt Lake police detectives were able to identify Mounga as a possible suspect and arrested him on Friday. In their arrest affidavit, police also noted that on May 10 and May 22, officers received additional reports of a man in a truck trying to “entice young girls.”

“In both cases, witnesses were able to collect photographs of the suspect vehicle and license plate. The license plate returned to a white Ford F-150 registered by … Tevita Mounga,” a police booking affidavit says.

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Charges: Salt Lake man, 78, kidnapped, sexually assaulted teen walking home from school