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Crisis worker, former officer charged with raping teen runaway

Eleven criminal charges were filed Monday against a former West Valley police officer accused of engaging in sexual relations with a runaway teen girl that he allowed to stay at his home.

Eleven criminal charges were filed Monday against a former West Valley police officer accused of engaging in sexual relations with a runaway teen girl that he allowed to stay at his home. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)



SALT LAKE CITY — A former Utah police officer accused of engaging in sexual relations with a runaway teen girl that he allowed to stay at his home was charged Monday with numerous felony charges and could face up to life in prison if convicted.

Edward Michael Cann, 29, of West Valley City, is charged in 3rd District Court with eight counts of rape, a first-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; harboring a runaway and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, both class B misdemeanors.

Cann was a detective for the West Valley Police Department from June 2017 until his resignation on Nov. 2, 2020, according to the city. His LinkedIn page indicates he went on to become a mental health technician at Salt Lake Behavior Hospital. Cann was a crisis worker assigned to the adolescent unit, which is where he met his alleged 14-year-old victim, charging documents state.

On June 29, police say the girl ran away from home. Cann is accused of picking up the girl and taking her to his apartment. Over the course of the four days that the girl was with him, they engaged in sexual relations two to three times a day, the charges state.

Investigators say Cann receive a call from a friend, who is currently a police sergeant with another agency, and was asked, "Why is West Valley looking for you?" Cann told the girl she had to leave his apartment on July 3, according to the charges. The girl was found on July 4 at a friend's house in Eagle Mountain.

When police attempted to interview the girl, she said "she has strong feelings for Cann and doesn't want him to get into any trouble," the charges state. She also said she would "put money on Cann's books at the jail if he (was) arrested. (She) said this is something she and Cann discussed should Cann get 'caught.'"

After the girl left Cann's apartment, Cann checked into the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center for a "mental health issue," the charges state.

When questioned by police, Cann said he at the girl "connected." He also claimed at first that when the girl was at his apartment "he didn't notice her," according to the charges. Police later searched Cann's apartment and said they found some of the girl's belongings still there.

Prosecutors have requested that Cann be held in the Salt Lake County Jail without bail.

Unified police said Monday an investigation into the police sergeant who tipped Cann off was on-going.

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