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Utah County Sheriff's Office

Utahn charged with kidnapping woman he met on a dating app

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Apr 24th, 2019 @ 5:12pm


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PLEASANT GROVE — A West Valley man was charged Wednesday with kidnapping a woman he met on a dating app and threatening to force her into prostitution.

Jose Armando Bernardino, 25, is charged in 4th District Court with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony; attempted human trafficking, a third-degree felony; and four misdemeanor crimes related to drugs and alcohol, according to court records.

On April 19, Bernardino was drinking in Salt Lake City with a woman he had met on a dating app about two years earlier. "(Bernardino) became aggressive and struck the victim several times in the face and ordered her into his car," the charges state.

Once inside the vehicle, Bernardino told the woman that she was now his, "and that he was taking her to Las Vegas to 'pimp her out,'" according to charging documents.

At some point along the way, Bernardino apparently changed his mind, apologized and told the woman he would drive her home, the charges state. When they stopped at a convenience store in Pleasant Grove, police say the woman asked the store clerk for help. Officers were called and Bernardino was arrested at the convenience store.

The arresting officer noted in a police report that Bernardino had an "overwhelming" odor of alcohol on his breath when he was arrested.

"As I attempted to communicate with Jose, he became very belligerent and told me to take him to jail several times," the report states. "Upon arrival at the police department, Jose refused to get out of my patrol vehicle. I had to physically pull Jose out and guide him into the police department."

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