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Tanner Siegworth, KSL TV

Woman assaulted while playing organ at Centerville church

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Nov 18th, 2018 @ 2:57pm | Posted - Nov 18th, 2018 @ 11:23am


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CENTERVILLE — A person allegedly broke into a church Saturday evening and assaulted a 71-year-old woman who was playing the organ, police said.

The incident took place between 9 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 270 N. 300 East in Centerville, according to Centerville Police Lt. Zan Robison.

The woman was alone inside the locked church building when she was “attacked” by the person, Robison said. She had minor injuries to her neck but is expected to recover, Robison added.

He also said the alleged assault was not sexual in nature, and there were no weapons involved. It's not clear how long the confrontation went on or if the person said anything to the woman during the incident.

"This is just a bizarre case," Robison said.

Investigators haven't determined a motive for the assault, but detectives have some leads and are following up on them, he added.

Police responded to the building to find that a rock had been thrown through a window on the east side of the church, Robison said. Investigators believe the alleged attacker got into the building after breaking the window, he said.

The woman told police she heard some loud pounding on a chapel door of the church that went on for several minutes before the assault. About 30 minutes later, someone came up behind her and started choking her, Robison said.

The woman lost consciousness during the alleged assault and was not able to get a good look at the person, Robison said.

Police don't know if the pounding at the door is in any way related to the assault, Robison added.

The person who allegedly assaulted the woman is described as having an average size build and wearing a gray hoodie sweatshirt, Robison said. Police did not provide any other details about the person, and Robison said they do not know whether the person was male or female.

Anyone who saw anything out of the ordinary at the church during that time period Saturday is asked to contact Centerville police at 801-292-8441.

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Jacob Klopfenstein

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