Man meets girl at red light, allegedly gets in her car without permission, sexually assaults her

St. George News stock image | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A 31-year-old man was arrested for sexual battery Thursday after he allegedly entered the car of a girl he had met at a red stoplight in St. George without permission and began kissing her and touching her breasts.

Ryan Kenneth Van Wagenen, of Pasadena, California, booking photo posted Sept. 14, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

At approximately 6 p.m., officers responded to the area of 499 E. 700 South near Legend Solar Stadium on a sex offense report, according to a probable cause statement filed by the St. George Police Department in support of the arrest.

A female driver reported that a man – later identified as Ryan Kenneth Van Wagenen, of Pasadena, California – pulled up next to her vehicle at a stop light and asked for restaurant suggestions, the arresting officer wrote in a sworn statement.

When the light turned green during the conversation, the man said he would follow the girl to get the restaurant suggestions he was asking about.

When the girl pulled over to the side of the road, Van Wagenen, whom the girl reportedly had never met, entered her vehicle without her consent, according to the statement. The man told her his name was “Ryan” and that he was from London.

The two exchanged numbers, and the girl offered some restaurant suggestions, the officer stated, further noting that after she made her suggestions, the man allegedly leaned in close to her and began kissing her on the lips.

The girl told police that she leaned away from the man and that the kiss was clearly unwanted, according to the report.

(The girl) reported to have been kissed approximately three times and her breast touched intentionally by Ryan while inside her vehicle,” the officer wrote in the statement. “Due to (the girl) being extremely uncomfortable, she asked Ryan to leave her vehicle.”

The girl provided police with a description of Van Wagenen, along with a description of a red, four-door car with Arizona license plates he was last seen entering.

While officers were circulating the area, the girl received a text from Van Wagenen stating he was at the Sakura restaurant on St. George Boulevard, the report stated. Officers responded to the restaurant and asked Van Wagenen to talk with them outside.

“Ryan initially told me he met up with a female ‘who was 18’ and got her phone number,” the officer stated. “Ryan explained nothing else happened.”

Van Wagenen declined to talk further with police. He was arrested and transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an Information in 5th District Court accusing Van Wagenen of class A misdemeanor sexual battery.

Van Wagenen was subsequently released from police custody on $5,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear before 5th District Judge G. Michael Westfall Sept. 21 for a court arraignment.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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8 Comments

  • comments September 18, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    would usually be referred to as ‘girl’ only if under 18? Was she under 18?

  • mctrialsguy September 18, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Hope there were some witnesses or it’s just ones’ word against the other.

  • Caveat_Emptor September 18, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    I can only hope that my own daughter would have handled this differently. There is always that desire to be helpful, especially if the person is not familiar with the area. Let this be a lesson that others can learn from.

  • theone September 18, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    I read this twice just to be fair.
    One of these two are delusional.

    • comments September 18, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      Possibly “the girl” is just naive or dumb? She did give the guy her #. It doesn’t make a lot of sense with the info we have here.

      • darkgoddess September 19, 2017 at 5:26 am

        I would say this gal was quite naive. We all like to be helpful, but there’s plenty of places for someone to stop and ask for directions or recommendations. And, how did he get in her car? I don’t know about you, but my doors automatically lock once my car starts moving, and don’t unlock until I unlock it. I moved here from an area that wasn’t as “safe” as St George, so even when I didn’t have automatic door locks 35 years ago, it was a habit to make sure all of them were locked as long as I was in the car. She’s lucky it wasn’t any worse than just a kiss and fondle.

  • Icomments2 September 19, 2017 at 2:44 am

    She should have slammed on the horn when he made his advances on her!!! That would have gotten the attention of plenty of people!!! And for the love if god would you pull over for a stranger!!! Tell him to go to the nearest gas station!!! That’s being nice too…

  • Badshitzoo September 19, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I was going to say “Welcome to California.” then I saw where he was from! So like I been sayin “Welcome to California.”.

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