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Charges refiled against Utah prison inmate in 2010 rape case

Charges refiled against Utah prison inmate in 2010 rape case

(Utah State Prison)


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SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah State Prison inmate who was charged in 2017 with an unsolved rape case from nearly a decade ago, only to have the case later dismissed, has now been charged again.

David Zachary Swigart, 55, was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with aggravated sexual assault and rape, both first-degree felonies.

On Sept. 16, 2010, a woman was walking to a bus stop in South Salt Lake when a man approached her from behind “and started making comments about her appearance and things that he wanted to do to her,” according to charging documents.

The male told (the woman) that she had to go to a nearby parking lot with him or he would ‘pop’ her,” the charges state. “He threatened that he had a gun and that he would kill her if she didn’t do what he wanted.”

Swigart took the woman behind a business, grabbed her in a chokehold from behind, raped her and “threatened to kill her if she screamed,” court documents state.

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The man ran off after the attack. The woman was treated by doctors and DNA samples were collected as evidence. But the rape kit needed a “confirmation swab,” or a second sample to test, according to prosecutors, and was eventually set aside with no arrest made.

In 2013, a match was made in a DNA database, but by that time authorities had lost contact with the woman. When police finally found her again, she said he still wanted to pursue criminal charges. A new search warrant was drawn up in 2016 to collect a new swab sample from Swigart.

But when it came time for the preliminary hearing, the victim did not show up for court, according to court documents. Swigart’s attorneys made a motion to dismiss the case because the prosecution could not proceed, and the judge agreed.

The charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning the state could still refile the case again in the future.

Swigart has an extensive criminal history, according to court records. He has been incarcerated at the Utah State Prison since 2011 serving a sentence for attempted aggravated sexual assault.

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