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SALT LAKE CITY — A Midvale man was charged Monday with assaulting two teenage girls in separate incidents on a TRAX train before physically assaulting a Utah Transit Authority driver.
Dennis O. McCarthy, 64, is charged in 3rd District Court with forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony; attempted forcible sexual abuse, a third-degree felony; assault, a class B misdemeanor; and disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor.
On Feb. 15, McCarthy unzipped the sweater of a 14-year-old girl riding a UTA TRAX train and groped her, according to charging documents.
That same day, an 18-year-old woman reported that she was looking down at her phone and texting on a TRAX train when she looked up and found McCarthy was "uncomfortably close" to her. McCarthy then tried to hug and kiss the woman, stating, "It's just one kiss," according to charging documents. The woman said she told McCarthy not to touch her and then slapped him.
Later, after UTA police contacted McCarthy and brought him to their headquarters for questioning, he grabbed the arm of a UTA bus driver who was "minding his own business" and reading a book, and wouldn't let go, the charges state.
McCarthy was released from custody before the charges were filed after he was ordered to wear an ankle monitor, according to the charges. Prosecutors are requesting $150,000 bail.
UTA spokesman Remi Barron said Monday that such incidents are rare and the bus and train systems are generally safe. The biggest crime UTA officers deal with is fare evasion, he said.
UTA has 80 officers, 60 of which perform patrol duties, according to Barron.