Man charged in connection with groping incidents at BYU

Posted at 2:31 PM, Apr 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-11 22:16:39-04

PROVO, Utah -- He allegedly targeted and groped women on the Brigham Young University campus, and now he's been caught.

BYU campus police said 22-year-old Nathan Eric Fletcher is the man behind the 16 sexual assaults carried out on the school’s campus between January and March of this year.

Friday morning, BYU campus police served Fletcher with a summons to appear in Fourth District Court on or before May 1. He is charged with two counts of sexual battery - class A misdemeanors.

Lt. Arnold Lemmon with the BYU Police Department said they are glad to have identified a suspect.

"It's a relief to get someone like this, to have them stop,” he said. “It's a relief for our student body, faculty, and staff. The women on this campus do not deserve this kind of conduct."

Police said Fletcher is the same man they saw on surveillance video wearing work out clothing and seen near a freshman housing unit. Fletcher is a student at BYU, and police said he lived in the Wymount Terrace Apartments for married students. News of Fletcher's alleged actions on campus came as a shock to his upstairs neighbor and others in the complex.

Fletcher's upstairs neighbor did not want to be identified, but told FOX 13 News: "It's a little scary to think of that, and, I don't know, I just feel bad for his wife that's all… I definitely am shocked and sad for them."

Haley Jones is a student and also lives in Wymount Terrace.

"I know I talked to a couple of my friends that are in my ward, and we always kind of felt safer when we got into the married student areas, but to find out that he's in the married student housing - or he was in the married student housing and potentially married and living here is just kind of scary," she said.

Student Mckay Paxman adds, "It is comforting know that he got caught, but you know something like this can easily happen again."

Police said Fletcher has been banned from all BYU property since April 1 and was not cooperative when he was served his summons Friday morning. If he does not appear in Fourth District Court by May 1, a warrant for his arrest will be issued.

Though authorities say they are confident Fletcher is responsible for all 16 sexual assaults, they said they felt it was important to charge him now instead of waiting to link all 16 incidents together. Fletcher could face more charges as this investigation continues.

Officials said in March there had been 15 confirmed reports of assaults on campus since January.