5-year-old escapes locker room sexual assault by slipping under the sall, police say

year old utah boy crawls under bathroom stall to avoid sexual assault
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Jun. 5 2021, Published 10:21 a.m. ET

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A 5-year-old Utah child was sexually assaulted by a man in a gym locker room, but the child escaped by slipping under the stall, police say.

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On June 1, authorities said the child told them Jonathan Jareth Soberanis, 26, came into the bathroom stall the child was using at the time.

Soberanis then showed the child his genitals before sexually assaulting him and not allowing the boy to leave the stall, police said.

In order to get away, the child told police he had to crawl under the bathroom stall and then he called out to his mom for help.

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The boy’s mother immediately told the staff and they reached out to authorities, police said.

The Lehi City Police Department began their investigation and used surveillance footage of the described man entering the locker room.

According to police, they could see the man entering the locker room around the same time the child was in there and exiting through a different door around the same time the child ran out.

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Police identified the man as Soberanis, who has a history of being arrested for lewdness, sexual abuse of a child and lewdness involving a child.

Police also learned Soberanis was banned from the gym’s property after a 2015 incident.

Officials said they questioned Soberanis, who said he was at the gym when the incident happened and said he was there working out.

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However, police said surveillance footage showed Soberanis never touched any workout equipment while he was there.

Police mentioned this to Soberanis, who then claimed he couldn’t remember what he did in the locker room, KUTV reported.

Investigators tried to arrest Soberanis after the interview, but he resisted and inflicted minor injuries on the arresting officers, police said.

Authorities said Soberanis tossed an end table at police during the scuffle.

Soberanis was arrested and charged with suspicion of lewdness involving a child, criminal trespass with intent to commit a crime, unlawful detention of a minor, voyeurism against a child, sexual abuse of a child, resisting arrest and assault against a police officer, officials said.

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