Orem man arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, sexual abuse of 16-year-old girl

Posted at 3:33 PM, Nov 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-02 17:33:40-05

OREM, Utah — A teen stopped after curfew led to the arrest of an Orem man accused of kidnapping and sexual abuse, authorities said Monday.

According to Monday’s Orem police watch log, an officer stopped a 16-year-old girl who was out past curfew. The girl lied about her name but the officer learned she was a runaway from Iowa.

Officers learned the teen was brought to Utah by 28-year-old Benjamin Braithwaite, of Orem, about a month ago.

Braithwaite and the girl had an on-again, off-again relationship for the past two years until the Orem man picked her up a month ago, said Lt. Craig Martinez with Orem police.

Martinez said the teen wasn’t held against her will and it wasn’t an instance of sex trafficking. But Braithwaite made it difficult for the girl to return home and took away her cell phone.

Braithwaite was booked into the Utah County Jail on charges of aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony; two counts of forcible sex abuse; a second-degree felony; lewdness and unlawfully providing shelter to a runway.

Braithwaite has a bail set at $30,000.

The teen has been returned to Iowa.