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August 6, 2021

Lehi man charged with lewdness involving child at rec center

LEHI — Criminal charges were filed Monday against a man accused of sexually assaulting a young boy in a bathroom stall at a Lehi recreation center and later resisting officers when they arrested him.

Jonathan Jareth Soberanis, 26, of Lehi, is charged in 4th District Court with assault by a prisoner, a third-degree felony; voyeurism and lewdness involving a child, both class A misdemeanors; plus unlawful detention of a minor and trespassing, both class B misdemeanors.

On June 1, Soberanis went into a bathroom stall at the Lehi Legacy Center, 123 N. Center, that was occupied by a 5-year-old boy and exposed himself, according to charging documents.

“The child stated he tried to leave the bathroom stall, but the male held him by his shoulders ‘really tight.’ The child stated he had to crawl under the stall to escape and he then ran out of the locker room to summon his mom for help,” the charges state.

Using surveillance video, police were able to identify Soberanis, who was permanently banned from the rec center in 2015, according to the charges.

Police attempted to question Soberanis at his home the next day. He admitted to being at the facility, “but stated he couldn’t remember what he did in the locker room and claimed he has a disability that prevents him from recollecting his actions,” the charges state.

When police attempted to take him into custody, Soberanis “began to kick and throw himself around, causing officers to sustain minor injuries. During the scuffle, (Soberanis) picked up a table with a large glass top and propelled it at officers, hitting one in the back of the head. Later while being transported back into the police vehicle, (he) intentionally kicked (an) officer in the leg,” according to the charges.

Soberanis has a history accusing him of similar behavior, being charged in 2018 and 2019 in separate cases of lewdness involving a child. In the 2018 incident, Soberanis was accused of exposing himself to a 9-year-old boy in the restroom at the Shops at South Town in Sandy. He was later charged with lewdness involving a child, assault, and committing a violent offense in front of a child.

But both the 2018 and 2019 cases were dismissed after it was determined Soberanis was not competent to stand trial. In 2015, Soberanis pleaded no contest to lewdness in Lehi Justice Court and was sentenced to probation and ordered to undergo mental health treatment, court records indicate. In that incident, Soberanis committed a lewd act in the shower of the Legacy Center, which is why he was permanently banned from the building.

Prosecutors have requested Soberanis be held in jail without bail for his new charges.

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