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Lifeguard sues Provo after reporting she was raped outside city pool

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Posted at 10:31 AM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2022-01-05 00:51:18-05

PROVO, Utah — A woman is suing the city of Provo after she reported that she was raped outside the city rec center.

The woman, who was working as a lifeguard at the time, was leaving work when she was confronted by a man who had been harassing her at the pool that day. The lawsuit says he raped her in the backseat of her car.

The woman is accusing Provo City of negligence after she reported the unwanted behavior from the man multiple times to her supervisor, but nothing was done.

According to lawsuit documents, the woman was working at the city pool as a lifeguard in July 2020 when a man began making advances towards her that made her uncomfortable. Including asking her questions about where she went to school and what her work schedule was like. The lawsuit says at one point he approached her and told her he was fantasizing about her and at another point he faked drowning to get her attention.

She attempted different strategies to make the man leave her alone but he persisted in staring at her and making her uncomfortable. The woman told her supervisor but, the lawsuit claims, the supervisor did nothing.

The lawsuit says that even after she informed her supervisor about the man's behavior, the supervisor went home and left her to perform closing duties at the pool.

While she was performing her duties, she saw the man who had been harassing her standing behind a glass wall, staring at her.

The lawsuit goes on to say, she left the rec center around 10:00 p.m. after finishing her work and the man approached her in the parking lot from behind while she was walking to her car alone. She entered her car and as she was starting it the man forced his way inside. He held her by her hair so that she couldn't escape and forced her into the back seat where he raped her.

The lawsuit accuses the city of negligence for allowing a woman who had reported harassment at work to be alone, without any protection, in a dimly lit parking lot.

“When [the woman] later attempted to investigate the identity of the Perpetrator, she was told the City did not have any surveillance footage of the parking lot where the assault occurred,” the lawsuit said.

The woman is seeking unspecified damages from the city.

FOX 13 has reached out to the City of Provo, who said in a statement that they will re-open their investigation after they officially receive the woman's lawsuit from her lawyers.

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, the district provided the following statement:

“The safety of Provo City employees is of utmost importance to us, with protection protocols in place. While we have not yet received the lawsuit and cannot comment specifically, what has been reported to us as being included seems to involve some different perspectives than came out in our civil and criminal investigations following an earlier claim. Once we have seen the specifics in the lawsuit, we will reopen the investigation to try to resolve those differences.”

The woman also agreed to an interview with FOX 13 News. Watch below:

Woman suing Provo over alleged rape speaks with FOX 13 News

If you or someone you know has experienced rape or sexual assault, the Utah Rape Recovery Center can be reached at 801-467-7273. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.