Clinton man faces felony charges after alleged torture of girlfriend

Robert Jay Vanvliet. Photo: Davis County

CLINTON, Utah, July 12, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Clinton man who allegedly tortured and threatened the life of his girlfriend for several hours in the presence of their children faces multiple felony charges and an upcoming arraignment in the case.

Robert Jay Vanvliet, 36, faces charges of:

  • Aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony
  • Aggravated assault, a third-degree felony
  • Domestic violence in the presence of a child, a third-degree felony

Vanvliet is being held in the Davis County Jail without bail.

The charges were filed after a June 3 incident at the Clinton residence the two had shared. According to a probable cause statement, the victim and Vanvliet began arguing about “cheating” at about 11 p.m.

“The suspect was said to not be getting his version of the truth from the victim, so at approximately 1 a.m. on 06/04/2019, the suspect is alleged to have grabbed the victim by the hair and dragged her to a closet in the room they were in,” the probable cause statement says.

“In the closet, the suspect proceeded to use a belt and tie to choke his victim to the point of losing consciousness while asking for an admittance to ‘cheating.’ The suspect, while choking the victim, is also alleged to have been using his fist to assault the victim several times and kicked (her) while on the floor.”

At about 4 a.m., Vanvliet reportedly forced the victim out of the residence and into a trailer, taking along their 2-year-old child, the statement says.

“In the trailer, the suspect allegedly tied/bound the victim to a chair using rope and zip ties. The suspect is then alleged to have placed a plastic bag in the mouth of the victim to be used a gagging device. The suspect is also stated to have used a lighter to burn the finger of the (victim), causing blistering while asking the (victim) with whom they ‘cheated.'”

The victim said that Vanvliet “used a helmet to hit her in the head before using the helmet to put on her head, to possibly better secure the plastic bag inside her mouth acting as a gagging device.”

Vanvliet continued to punch the victim, while threatening to kill her and their toddler if she did not confess to cheating, the probable cause statement says. Vanvliet allegedly did not release the victim until 8 a.m., after which she was hospitalized.

The statement, filed by an officer of the Clinton Police Department, recommended that Vanvliet be held without bail because he was a threat to the community and a flight risk.

“This suspect made several threats to the victim and young child. Victim stated to her he had nothing to live for and would end their life if she did not confess she was cheating. The suspect and victim are parents to two biological children and six shared children. All children were present in the home when the alleged incident occurred.

“The graphic nature of the violence the suspect is alleged to have committed warrants me to believe that his release from custody will pose a impeccable danger to the victim and their children. One child reported that it is not the first time he has witnessed his father get arrested under similar circumstances.”

At a court date on Friday, Vanvliet was again denied bail. His arraignment was set for July 26.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here