ST. GEORGE – A hotel employee was arrested for sexual battery Wednesday after allegedly touching the buttocks of two female juveniles as they exited a hotel elevator.
Officers responded to the Wingate by Wyndham Hotel at 144 W. Brigham Road in St. George on a report of a sexual assault on two girls, according to a probable cause statement written by St. George Police Officer Nick Garcia in support of the arrest.
The two girls, ages 15 and 17, told police that a man had touched their buttocks as they were exiting the hotel elevator, the statement said. The man was identified as 22-year-old Ruben Christopher Lopez, of Santa Clara.
Lopez denied any sexual contact with the two girls, Garcia wrote in the statement, but said he possibly touched them “incidentally” while exiting the elevator.
According to Utah Code 76-9-702.1 – sexual battery, a person is guilty of sexual battery if the person intentionally touches, whether or not through clothing, the anus, buttocks or any part of the genitals of another person, or the breast of a female person, and the actor’s conduct is under circumstances the actor knows or should know will likely cause affront or alarm to the person touched.
Lopez was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
He was charged with two class A misdemeanors for sexual battery, and was released from custody on $3,900 bail.
He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Thursday.
A Wingate hotel front desk employee confirmed Monday that Lopez was an employee of the hotel but did not specify which position he held or the reason Lopez no longer works for the hotel.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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