Man allegedly exposed himself to 8-year-old boy at West Valley recreation center

Jonathan Jareth Soberanis. Photo from 2018: Salt Lake County

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, Dec. 23, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A 23-year-old man is facing charges including lewdness involving a child after he allegedly exposed himself to an 8-year-old boy in a West Valley City recreation center.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake City said Jonathan Jareth Soberanis is facing the class A misdemeanor lewdness charge as well as class A misdemeanor failure to stop at the command of a law enforcement officer, class B misdemeanor interfering with an officer and class B misdemeanor failure to disclose identity. The lewdness charge relates to an incident on Dec. 16, while the second three charges relate to an incident on Dec. 20.

On Dec. 16, a father and his son, age 8, went to a West Valley recreation center to go swimming, the probable cause statement said.

The son went to use the bathroom in a fully enclosed stall, the statement said. The child told the arresting officer that while in the stall he saw a man appear underneath his stall and he could see the man’s private parts.

“The father walked in and stated he saw this man on his knees looking in his kid’s stall then confronted him,” the statement said. “When the suspect male stood up the father could see his [private parts]. The father chased the suspect out of the locker room and into the lobby where he told facility staff. This was captured on video surveillance.”

The suspect left the scene with a friend. Officials were able to identify and interview the friend, who “stated he went there with the suspect, then saw the suspect being confronted about something involving a kid.”

The arresting officer then made contact with Soberanis on Dec. 20. The suspect currently has an active warrant for lewdness involving a child from West Jordan 3rd District Court.

The suspect was located outside his apartment complex.

“Myself and other officers got out of our vehicle, I called out to him by his name,” the statement said. “The suspect saw me and said ‘no’ then took off running on foot. I chased the suspect around the building and tackled him to the ground. A struggle ensued and officers were eventually able to place him in handcuffs. I asked the suspect to confirm his name and date of birth, he refused.”

The suspect was read his Miranda rights and said he understood them and would answer questions.

“He admitted to being in the locker room using the urinal when he saw a kid in the stall and the kid was on the floor,” the statement said. “He admitted when he saw the kid he was ‘triggered.'” The statement added: “he feels like he is sick and bad for doing this sort of thing and wants help.”

Soberanis was then transported to the Salt Lake County Jail and is being held on $100,000 bail.


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