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SALT LAKE CITY — A South Salt Lake man with a lengthy criminal history faces new criminal charges accusing him of assaulting a woman walking her dog at Pioneer Park.
Gatluak Deng Gatluak, 44, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with three counts of forcible sex abuse, a second-degree felony; aggravated kidnapping and assault by a prisoner, third-degree felonies; plus interfering with an arrest and failing to give his identity, class B misdemeanors.
On Tuesday, police say a woman was just leaving the dog park area at Pioneer Park, 350 S. 300 West, when Gatluak commented about how cute her dog was. The woman said "thank you" and kept walking.
But Gatluak continued to follow her and then allegedly put his arms around her while making sexually crude comments. He then put his hand on the woman's neck and kissed it several times, according to charging documents, before inappropriately touching the woman over her clothing.
Gatluak would not let the woman go for four to five minutes, the charges state. During that time, the woman's dog leash got wrapped around the man's legs, which eventually caused him to let go of her. Gatluak allegedly yelled to the woman as she walked away that he would have a gift for her if she came back the next day.
The woman contacted police who responded to the park and spotted Gatluak. Officers described him as being "agitated" and said he ignored orders to stop before he was eventually grabbed from behind and "taken to the ground." After he was handcuffed, Gatluak continued to swear at officers and kicked one of them, the charges state.
Prosecutors have requested that Gatluak be held in the Salt Lake County Jail pending trial, noting that he has an "extensive" criminal history that includes "29 total incidents with law enforcement," including a prior conviction for assaulting an officer.
Gatluak is a citizen of Sudan and was ordered to be deported in 2018, the charges state, but "due to the current conflict," he will not be deported "until the conflict calms down."