Charge dismissed in case of woman suing Layton City over DUI arrest, alleged groping

Posted at 9:12 PM, Dec 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-03 23:14:17-05

LAYTON, Utah — A judge has dismissed a DUI charge filed against a woman who is suing Layton City, claiming she was groped by an officer who she said also wrongfully arrested her for DUI.

Amanda Houghton filed a lawsuit over the incident that occurred July 25 in Layton. She said she called 911 herself after her car was hit by another vehicle, and she was astonished when she was field tested for sobriety and arrested for DUI. She also claims an officer groped her during a pat-down search.

Monday, the City of Layton filed a motion to dismiss the DUI charge, and that motion was granted Wednesday.

“At the time of the investigation the officer had probable cause to arrest Ms. Houghton for DUI,” the motion from the city reads. “In evaluating the evidence against the higher burden required at trial, the City has decided at this time, to not proceed with prosecution. Based on the foregoing, the City moves the Court to dismiss this case without prejudice.”

Because the charge was dismissed without prejudice, it’s possible the city could move to file charges again at a later date.

Houghtontold Fox 13 about her experience during an interview in October.

“It was horrible, I was yelling at him to stop touching me,” Houghton said. “’Get somebody here to watch you grope me,’ I think were my words, I felt very violated.”

The interaction was captured on dash camera video, and Lt. Travis Lyman of the Latyon City Police Department said in October that they reviewed the footage.

“From viewing the video, it does not look like the officer did anything unlawful,” Lyman said.

Lyman did say there may be room for improvement in how their officers interact with the public.

"It does appear that she was startled by that, and so that's part of what we're examining internally: Is there an obligation on our part to make sure that somebody knows that we are about to conduct a search?” Lyman said.