POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office being sued after former cadet reports abuse

Dec 6, 2022, 9:30 PM
The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office is being sued after what started with a Snapchat request in...
A former Salt Lake County Sheriff deputy and academy instructor allegedly committed numerous sexual assaults against a former cadet. (Photo credit: Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)
(Photo credit: Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office is being sued after what started with a Snapchat request in April 2021 that escalated to multiple sexual assaults, according to documents filed in Utah’s U.S. District Court

The complaint filed in November alleges that former Salt Lake County Sheriff deputy and academy instructor Brandon Hartley sexually assaulted a cadet in 2021.

The cadet making the allegations wishes to remain anonymous.

In the document, the former cadet claims instructors encouraged new recruits “to confide in them” if they had “issues in their personal lives.”

What seems like a caring gesture turned sinister shortly after the cadet received a Snapchat request from Hartley, court documents read. 

Soon after the first interaction over social media, the Cadet alleges that Hartley made efforts to get her alone. Then, Hartley forced the woman to perform sexual acts, in one instance causing her to become unconscious.

In the documents, the cadet describes feeling “traumatized” by her encounters with Hartley. The Cadet said she “did not know what to do or how to deal with what was happening.”

Documents also detail that Hartley resigned from the sheriff’s office after an internal investigation. The investigation looked into whether or not he had sexually assaulted another woman in the academy a year earlier.

According to the Cadet’s claim, the internal affairs officer informed her that “she was not the only victim.”

Furthermore, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office is being sued after the cadet alleged, she received little to no support from police when she attempted to report the abuse after he resigned.

The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to the filed complaint and said they were “without knowledge” or have denied all claims, according to the court documents. 

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship there is help available here in Utah and nationwide.

  • YWCA’s Women in Jeopardy program: 801-537-8600
  • Utah statewide Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-897-LINK (5465) and udvc.org
  • 24-hour Salt Lake victim advocate hotline: 801-580-7969
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

Related: DPS offers apology to family of rape victim from more than 50 years ago

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Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office being sued after former cadet reports abuse