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Geoff Liesik

Vernal man's report of sexual assault disproven, police say

By Geoff Liesik | Posted - Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 8:04pm

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VERNAL — Investigators no longer believe a man's report that he was sexually assaulted by two other men in early March.

"We have been able to disprove that story," Vernal Police Sgt. Shawn Lewis said Thursday. He declined to elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation into the man's March 8 report.

The man, whose name has not been released, initially told officers he'd left work at a downtown business late at night and was accosted by two men in an alley near the intersection of Main Street and Vernal Avenue.

Both attackers sexually assaulted the man while threatening him with a weapon, according to the initial police report. After the alleged assault, the man went to a nearby bar to seek help. Employees called police and the man was taken to a hospital.

Detectives collected video from surveillance cameras in the area and also conducted a number of interviews, including multiple interviews with the alleged victim.

It was during those follow-up interviews that the man's story fell apart, Lewis said Thursday. Detectives still need to speak with a few more people before concluding their investigation, the sergeant said, and once that happens the case will be turned over to prosecutors.

Anyone with information about the incident, or who observed anything suspicious in the area n March 8 around the time of the alleged attack, is asked to call the Vernal Police Department at 435-789-5835.


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