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Provo man arrested for reportedly groping women on BYU campus

(Screen grab from surveillance video, courtesy BYU Police)

PROVO – Police say they’ve arrested a man accused of groping several women on the campus of BYU over the weekend.  Investigators say more women came forward after hearing about the assaults on the news, and they believe his assaults happened, off-campus, too.

By late Monday afternoon, police identified their suspect as Jacob Scott Hansen, a senior at BYU.  He was booked into the Utah County Jail on five counts of sexual battery.

The first campus groping was reported on Saturday by a woman who says she was assaulted while walking along Cougar Boulevard.  Campus Police Lieutenant Jeff Long says Hansen walked up behind her and touched her.  Long says it happened so quickly, the victim wasn’t exactly certain what occurred.

“After it occurred, she was like, ‘Wow, did that just… was I just the victim of something?’” Long says.

On Sunday, two more women called police, saying they had been assaulted by a man with a similar description and who used a similar method.  Long says the suspect would walk behind his victims, pretend to fall then grab them as he was going down.  By Monday, two more victims called, bringing the total number to five.

Long says, “When it happened to our fifth victim, she wasn’t sure if she had been a victim.  After she saw the news media releases today, she realized she was a victim of this.”

Investigators say they had good surveillance videos, so they were able to watch where the suspect went.

“We were able to track his movements and we could see he drove onto campus, parked his car and we were able to obtain a license plate,” Long says.  “We were able to get a local address and detectives were able to find him at his apartment here in Provo.”

The Provo City Police Department tells KSL Hansen is also being investigated for a groping that happened off-campus.


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