TO university of utah diver is on the run after police say he may have fled the country amid an investigation into rape allegations, according to multiple reports.
Benjamin Smyth, a 19-year-old student-athlete at the men’s swimming and diving team He is believed to have fled to Canada, where he is a citizen, after learning he was under investigation for the August 2022 incident, WITI-TV reported.
According to court documents from the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, Smyth approached a woman in the common area of her bedroom and exchanged contact information. He then allegedly went to the woman’s bedroom minutes later.
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The documents, obtained by KSTU, allege that Smyth began to kiss the woman despite her refusal. He then allegedly forced the woman to engage in various sexual activities before forcibly raping her.
Smyth initially denied knowing the victim before telling investigators that he «had sexual intercourse with her when he met her.»
Police reportedly tried to serve Smyth a temporary protective order in his bedroom days later, but soon learned that he had packed up and returned. to Canada «after learning that he was being investigated for the rape» of the woman.
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The university issued a statement saying Smyth had been suspended upon learning of the police investigation in February.
«On February 16, we were made aware of a serious allegation involving a member of our men’s swimming and diving program,» the school said in a statement via WITI.
«Upon being notified by the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) of a pending investigation, Ben Smyth was immediately suspended on February 20 from all team activities. We take matters of this nature very seriously and continue to monitor the situation. We will have no further comment as this matter progresses through the legal process.»
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A warrant for Smyth’s arrest has been issued, according to WITI. He is wanted on charges of rape, forcible sodomy and forcible sexual assault.