5-year-old escapes under bathroom stall during assault in Lehi rec center

Lehi Legacy Center.jpg
Posted at 12:54 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 14:58:43-04

LEHI, Utah — A Lehi man was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 5-year-old boy inside the bathroom of a recreation center. Police say the boy crawled under a bathroom stall to escape from the man.

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Jonathan Jareth Soberanis, 26, was arrested on multiple offenses, including sexual abuse of a child, lewdness involving a child, and unlawful detention of a minor

The boy told police he was using the bathroom at the Lehi Legacy Center on Tuesday when a man later identified as Soberanis came into his stall. Soberanis allegedly exposed himself to the boy, according to the probable cause affidavit.

When the boy tried to leave the stall, he said Soberanis grabbed him by the shoulders. The boy was able to crawl under the bathroom stall to escape and run to his mother to help.

Surveillance footage from the recreation center showed Soberanis entering the locker room while the boy was inside. Police say the clothes Soberanis wore matched the description the boy gave to detectives.

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Soberanis is seen on video running out of the locker room at the same time the boy ran out from a different exit.

Detectives identified Soberanis and later found he had been previously been arrested for lewdness, sexual abuse of a child and lewdness involving a child. He was also banned from the same recreation center in 2015 for performing sexual acts in the shower.

While being interviewed by police, Soberanis admitted to being at the Lehi Legacy Center to work out, but officials say video never showed him "accessing any workout equipment." When asked what he was doing in the locker room and why he was seen running from the bathroom, Soberanis said he has a "disability that prevents him from recollecting his actions."

As detectives attempted to take Soberanis into custody, he resisted by kicking and throwing himself around. Police say he also threw a glass end table at officers before he was able to be pinned down.

Soberanis was taken to the Utah County Jail and booked on the following charges:

  • CHARGE 1: "Lewdness Involving a Child" - for exposing himself to the 5 year-old child
  • CHARGE 2: "Criminal Trepass w/ Intent to Commit a Crime" - for entering the recreation center and committing the sexual assault in a location where he had previously been trespassed for sexual acts in 2015.
  • CHARGE 3: "Voyeurism Against a Child" - for entering the stall where the child was actively using the restroom and had a reasonable expectation of privacy. CHARGE 4: "Sexual Abuse of a Child" - for exposing himself to the child and then taking indecent liberties against the child.
  • CHARGE 5: "Resisting Arrest" - for not obeying and physically resisting officers when officers attempted to take him into custody.
  • CHARGE 6: "Assault Against a Police Officer" - for propelling the end table towards the officers and for the kicking of officers Jonathan did when officers attempted to take him into custody.