Man accused of raping co-worker arrested during traffic stop on I-15 – St George News

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S T. GEORGE – A Hurricane man accused of sexually assaulting one of his employees in March 2022 was arrested during a traffic stop on northbound Interstate 15 in St. George Monday night.

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In this 2019 file photo for illustrative purposes only, police officers respond to 300 North in LaVerkin, Utah on June 15, 2019 | File photo of Cody Blowers, St. George News

Raymond Kapongo, 28, was taken into custody after a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy reviewed the car’s registration and revealed an outstanding warrant for his arrest for a first-degree felony.

Kapongo is in jail on two warrants, including a first-degree felony warrant that was filed in connection with a months-long investigation by a LaVerkin City police detective. The incident was reported in August 2022 and alleged that a woman had been sexually assaulted by the owner of the company she worked for.

The complainant contacted authorities to report the incident and the case was assigned to LaVerkin Police Detective Steve Johnson. During an interview the following month, investigators learned that the sexual assault would have taken place in March 2022, less than three months after the complainant began working for the company, according to the affidavit filed in support of the order. of arrest.

Kapongo was identified as the owner of a business that specialized in cleaning rental properties, and it was while cleaning one of those properties that police say the incident occurred.

While cleaning, the couple took a break for drinks and soon after, the suspect reportedly began making inappropriate comments to the employee. The complainant told the suspect that “she didn’t like boys, and she only liked girls,” the officer noted in the report.

From there, the suspect became “forceful” and picked up the employee and took her to one of the bedrooms, despite her repeated pleas for him to stop. The report also states that the suspect proceeded to sexually assault the woman, who told investigators that she started to panic and then she “froze,” the officer said.

The detective discovered during the course of the investigation that Kapongo had a prior misdemeanor conviction for a sex crime in a case involving a co-worker, and was also a suspect in another case involving a sex crime.

The detective submitted the affidavit in support of the suspect’s arrest, and the case was filed on November 22, 2022. A week later, an arrest warrant was issued for Kapongo and he was indicted on three first-degree felonies, including one charge each. of rape, sodomy and rape of objects.

St. George News reached out to Johnson to ask about the five-month delay that occurred between the time the incident occurred and the time it was reported, but he said he couldn’t speak to this incident specifically and that in many cases, particularly when they involve a sexual assault, the level of trauma to the victim can be so severe that it may take time before they are ready to report this type of crime.

The warrant, filed in November 2022, remained pending for nearly two months until Kapongo was arrested Monday night.

The officer noticed a Lexus heading north on I-15, and a records check indicated that Kapongo had a misdemeanor warrant issued from Santa Clara, as well as a felony warrant. Both warrants were attached to the vehicle’s registered owner, Kapongo, who was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle at the time.

The driver was reportedly swerving out of line and the officer called for backup shortly after 11:30 p.m. He conducted a felony traffic stop near the St. George Boulevard exit. The suspect was ordered out of the vehicle and was arrested on a warrant for his arrest, as well as for driving with a revoked license, according to the report.

Kapongo was transported to the Purgatory Correctional Facility for the two warrants for his arrest, as well as for driving with a revoked license and a misdemeanor possession charge after officers recovered what appeared to be two joints of marijuana.

The previous conviction mentioned in the affidavit filed in November 2022 concerned a case filed in 2017 and involved a misdemeanor sexual assault charge. In that case, investigators received an anonymous letter alleging that Kapongo was sexually involved with an underage co-worker, according to charging documents filed at the time of the 2017 arrest.

Court records revealed that at the time, the defendant was working at a local restaurant as a shift leader when he admitted to having a sexual relationship with one of his underage subordinates, beginning when the youth was under the age of 15, police say. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge of sexual assault three years later.

During a sentencing hearing held in the 5th District Court on September 3, 2020, the one-year jail sentence was suspended and the defendant was instead placed on 18-month probation and ordered to pay a fine. .

Following the arrest on Monday night, Kapongo is scheduled to make an initial appearance in 5the District Court on Thursday and remains in jail without bail.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other first responders and may not contain the full scope of the findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty by a court of law or otherwise decided by a judge of fact.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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