Utah store owner charged with obstruction in sexual assault investigation

Utah store owner charged with obstruction in sexual assault investigation

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PROVO — The owner of a Utah County convenience store charged with raping an employee is in more trouble after prosecutors say he tried to get another employee to hide evidence.

Mukesh Pathak Bindraban, 61, of Provo, was charged Thursday in 4th District Court with object rape and forcible sodomy, both first-degree felonies; and forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

On Friday, he was charged with obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.

Bindraban is accused of inviting a 23-year-old woman to his house on Christmas night. The woman was scheduled to work at a 7-Eleven in Lindon at 10:30 p.m. that Bindraban is listed in charging documents as the owner/manager of the store.

The woman assumed Bindraban wanted to talk about work, the charges state, But when she arrived, she said he said he had been drinking and wanted her to drink with him, according to charging documents.

“He continued to pressure her to drink and to kiss him and to sit by him. ... The victim tried to resist defendant’s advances but he became belligerent and the victim was afraid of what he might do.”


The woman eventually went into the restroom and turned on her cellphone’s recording device. The phone recorded more than 50 minutes “with the victim saying no and trying to come up with reasons that she needed to leave,” according to the charges.

Bindraban then inappropriately touched the woman, the charges state. When she was able to leave, the woman reported the incident to police.

According to his new charges, Bindraban “adamantly denied” offering alcohol to the woman and claimed she was already drunk when she arrived at his residence.

But after his arrest, Bindraban called another employee from the Utah County Jail and “gave him detailed instructions on where to find an empty bottle” inside a bag, and “then asked him to throw it away in the dumpster behind Mr. Bindraban’s 7-Eleven store in Lindon,” charging documents state.

“Knowing that he was being investigated for sexual assault charges and that police were gathering evidence of (the woman’s) claims, Mr. Bindraban instructed another person to conceal or remove a physical piece of evidence that corroborated (the woman’s) account and contradicted his own,” the charges state.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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