Suspect charged with sexual battery, accused of groping 5 women on BYU campus

Suspect Jacob Hansen is believed to be the suspect caught on video of an assault. Photos: Utah County Sheriff

PROVO, Utah, March 29, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A man wanted for allegedly groping five women on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo has been taken into custody.

A probable cause statement from Utah County said Jacob Scott Hansen, 26, of Provo, is facing four charges of sexual battery; two of the charges are class A misdemeanors, two others are class B.

The probable cause statement said on Saturday at approximately 2 p.m., a man walked up behind a woman who was jogging and both started walking up Cougar Boulevard across from the Tanner Building parking terrace.

“A male individual is observed on video surveillance approaching a female who later reporting being grabbed from behind on her buttocks,” the statement said. “The female reported the incident to University Police. The female said she was shocked about being grabbed by the male on her buttocks.”

On Sunday at approximately 12:20 p.m., a woman was walking eastbound at Helaman Halls near the Cannon Center.

“On video surveillance, a male suspect wearing a black jacket, black shoes, black dress pants, and a white shirt and tie is seen walking toward the female,” the statement said. “He gets closer to the female by speeding up his pace. The male is seen grabbing the female from behind and then he runs off abruptly heading toward May Hall. The victim reported this incident to University Police and said that she was assaulted by a male who was wearing black pants, a black jacket and sunglasses. She said she was surprised by the person grabbing her from behind around her waist area.”

Less than an hour later, at approximately 1:05 p.m., a man was seen on surveillance camera grabbing a female from behind.

“The female reported that she was grabbed on the buttocks by a male individual who was wearing a black jacket and sunglasses,” the statement said. “The female victim said that she was near the southeast corner of Taylor Hall at Helaman Halls.”

At approximately 2:25 p.m. Sunday, another woman reported that she was “grabbed from behind by a male stranger who reached around her abdomen and tickled her,” the statement said. “The victim said she was walking south of the Life Sciences Building and near the Risk Management Building when she was grabbed by the male individual.”

On Monday, “a female BYU student after hearing about women being groped by a male suspect reported that she too was grabbed from behind by an unknown male who said he tripped and was falling when he grabbed both sides of her buttocks with both hands,” the statement said. “The female said she was walking on the sidewalk from the Life Sciences Building toward 700 East and that she was on the corner of 700 East and 800 North when she was grabbed by the male individual.” She said the incident occurred at Sunday at approximately 2 p.m.

“On March 29, 2021, after reviewing video surveillance on BYU campus, we found the male suspect on camera at several locations,” the statement said. “We were able to track the suspect to lot 26 where he enters a blue Chevy Malibu. We were able to track when the blue Chevy Malibu arrived on campus at 11:15 a.m.” Officers found the license plate for the suspect vehicle was a Texas plate that had been registered with BYU parking to Hansen.

Officers went to Hansen’s home and he voluntarily came to the BYU Police Department with police officers. After being read his Miranda rights, he allegedly admitted to “grabbing women on campus on March 27, 2021, and March 28, 2021.”

The clothing the suspect was wearing matched the description of what the suspect was wearing in each of the cases that were reported on Sunday and was clothing that the suspect admitted to wearing while he was on campus that same day.

Hansen was transported to Utah County Jail with his bail set at $5,000.


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