BYU Police: Suspect in custody after 5 cases of sexual battery reported in Provo

Jacob Scott Hansen. Photo Courtesy: Utah County Jail

PROVO, Utah, March 29, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with five incidents of groping and other acts of sexual battery against women on the Brigham Young University campus.

The BYU University Police Department said the suspect has been identified as Jacob Scott Hansen. He is facing a charge of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor, and a second charge of sexual battery, a class B misdemeanor.

“He hasn’t been booked into jail yet. He’s in custody,” Lt. Jeff Long told reporters outside headquarters.

Police originally got two reports of groping, then media reports inspired three other victims to come forward, Long said.

Long said surveillance cameras allowed officer to track the suspect, and to get an image of his vehicle and license plate number.

Detectives interviewed the suspect, and “he’s admitted to the five” assaults, Long said.

The suspect is a Provo resident who lives a few blocks south of campus, Long said, adding that the man is associated with BYU, but not saying whether he is a student registered at the University. The suspect has no prior police record, Long said.

Regarding the apprehension, “We’re very relieved, but not as relieved as the victims,” Long said, adding surveillance video of one assault shows “aggressive the attack was, so yeah, we’re glad to have him in custody.”

Asked what others can do to avoid surprise attacks, Long said people should be aware of their surroundings.

“Keep your head on a swivel. Be aware of what’s around you, and these women did the right thing. They called us. If it happens to you, report it.”



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