Prosecutors accuse Snyderville Basin man of raping massage client
Man faces multiple felonies for alleged incidents
Update: Kennard pleaded not guilty at an arraignment June 18. A pretrial conference is scheduled for July 12.
A Snyderville Basin man has been charged with multiple felonies for two separate incidents in which prosecutors allege he sexually assaulted a client during a professional massage.
In one of the alleged incidents, Merga Jeffrey Kennard, 34, is accused of raping a woman who visited an establishment for a massage on April 17. According to charging documents, he penetrated her without her consent after she disrobed and lay on a massage table.
The other alleged incident occurred on March 31 and, according to prosecutors, involved Kennard touching a woman’s genitals without her consent during a massage at the establishment and making several comments about her breasts.
Summit County prosecutors charged Kennard with one first-degree felony count of object rape, two first-degree felony counts of rape and one second-degree felony count of forcible sexual abuse for the alleged April 17 incident. He faces a second-degree felony count of forcible sexual abuse stemming from the alleged incident on March 31.
A 3rd District Court judge found Kennard indigent and appointed a public defender, who declined to comment about the charges.
The Summit County Attorney’s Office requested Kennard be held without bail, alleging he would constitute a substantial danger to others or the community or is likely to flee if released.
Kennard was arrested on Tuesday. On Wednesday, 3rd District Court Judge Richard Mrazik ordered him to be held without bail until further order of the court. A scheduling conference is planned for Monday.
First-degree felonies carry a possible sentence of life in prison.
Summit County Clerk Evelyn Furse said ballots are expected to be mailed on Oct. 18 and should arrive later that week.
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