Man, 74, arrested for sexual assault twice in two months

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PROVO -- For the second time in two months, Provo police have arrested a man for sexual assault. They say he offers to give women a ride home, then gropes them in his car.

Police don't hesitate to call the man a predator after yet another offense.

He is 74 years old and may appear harmless, but as the 24-year-old victim this time learned, he became aggressive as soon as she got into his car.

Capt. Cliff Argyle of the Provo Police Department said, "He starts to drive her home, does the same thing as last time, starts talking to her, starts touching her inappropriately, asking her if she will keep him company for cash."

Rue Lewis was arrested Monday after the victim identified him in a photo lineup.

She reported to police that on March 11, she was walking near a store along Freedom Boulevard when she was approached by a man offering her a ride. She accepted and was assaulted before managing to get away.

On Jan. 6 at a bus stop on the same street, police say a 19-year-old girl reported Lewis offered her a ride and then sexually assaulted her.

Police say while he may appear to be a friendly neighbor, his motives are criminal. Women, regardless of their age, should never accept a ride from a stranger.

"If you look at a picture of Mr. Lewis, he does look harmless, but if you go by the old adage ‘Don't judge a book by its cover,' Mr. Lewis is a perfect example of that," Argyle said.

Police say Lewis has a history of sex offenses, mostly lewdness charges. Jail records show a judge released him on his own recognizance and he left the jail around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon.

Lewis returns to court next week to be arraigned on the case from January.

Charges in this case are expected to be filed in a few days.


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Sam Penrod


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