Canadian man charged with sexual assault at University of Utah

Salt Lake City –

A University of Utah diver was arrested and charged last fall with raping a young woman in her dorm room during the first week of the school year.

Prosecutors have charged Ben Smith, a second-year Canadian diver at the University of Utah, with sodomy, sexual abuse, and rape. In an indictment filed this week, detectives say Smith went to her girls’ dormitory room last August after confirming she was alone. Her man allegedly asked her to do her “truth or dare” and raped her while she physically resisted. “I don’t want to do that,” she said, shaking her head and saying “no” to her pain.

When questioned by detectives, the man initially denied knowing the woman, but later admitted that he had had sex with her and that she felt pain.

The indictment does not name the woman, but she also said that when detectives went to see Smith with a non-disclosure order to keep him away from the woman, his roommate told him Smith had moved out. A private investigator later told detectives that he had returned to Canada after learning Smith was being investigated for rape.

Detectives also wrote in court documents that Smith’s friends said Smith boasted “about the number of women he’s had sex with” and kept lists for others to see.

The University of Utah Athletic Department said in a statement that Smith was suspended from the men’s swim and diving team when the school learned of the allegations in February before the Pac-12 championships. Although Smith didn’t compete this year, he placed second in platform diving as a freshman.

“We have learned of serious allegations concerning members of the men’s swimming and diving program. Ben Smith was immediately suspended after being notified by the university’s Equal Opportunities Office that an investigation was pending. ‘ said the agency.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Shim Gill said earlier this week that his office was pursuing all means to get him back in Utah after an arrest warrant was issued for Smith. His office said on Friday that Smith had returned to the United States, but he did not say if he was in custody.

The diver’s arrest is at least the second time he has faced rape charges for swimming and diving in Pac-12 in recent years. In 2016, Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner was convicted of raping a woman after two graduate students caught him riding over an unconscious woman behind a trash can on campus. received.

Smith’s attorney, Scott Wilding, did not respond to a request for comment.

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