WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah, Nov. 1, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Washington County man has been arrested after he allegedly raped a woman who was known to him.
A probable cause statement from the 5th District Court of St. George said Juan Gabriel Lopez, 32, is facing a charge of rape, a first-degree felony.
On Oct. 21 at approximately 2 a.m., a 40-year-old woman reported she was raped several hours prior, allegedly by Lopez, the statement said. A Code R kit was collected and initial statements were obtained by officers regarding the incident.
On Oct. 23, the victim was interviewed again, and said Lopez had asked her to pick him up on Oct. 21 so he could get some food. She picked up him and took him to get food and some alcohol, the statement said. Once back at his apartment, the victim said Lopez pulled her car keys out of the ignition on her vehicle and told her to follow him up to his apartment.
“Once inside, Gabriel pulled her into his bedroom so he could play her a song,” the statement said. “At this point, she said she told Gabriel it was late and she needed to leave. She stood up and attempted to leave the bedroom, but Gabriel asked her to sit back down for a minute. At this point, Gabriel leaned in and tried to kiss her on the mouth. She pushed Gabriel away and told him no.”
Lopez then “forced her to lay on the bed where he proceeded to rape her despite her telling him no and crying/pleading with him to stop,” the statement said. She was eventually able to leave and went home and told her roommate what happened, the statement said. The roommate then convinced her to report the incident.
“During the interview, the victim confirmed she had attempted to text with Gabriel and confront him over what happened that night,” the statement said. “Gabriel responded that just was how he was. She responded back asking why he continued when she told him no many times and was crying. She then demanded Gabriel respond with a reason for his action. Gabriel responded several minutes later asking if she could help him find a room.”
Lopez then allegedly blocked her, the statement said.
On Oct. 30, the arresting officer was able to locate Lopez at a Maverik in St. George. He was transported to the police department and read his Miranda rights.
“He initially claimed they had sexual intercourse on two separate occasions, but clarified the first time she came to his apartment, they had only talked,” the statement said. “Gabriel denied she had ever told him no or to stop. He admitted to blocking her on his cellphone because he didn’t know what she was going to do. He was unable to provide a reason why he had responded to her initial text with ‘that is just how I am.'”
Lopez, who is in the U.S. illegally, was transported to Washington County jail with his bail set at $25,000. At the time of his arrest, he was allegedly in the process of fleeing the state and had $2,400 in his wallet, the statement said.