Utah Man Allegedly Held Teen in Shed For Six Weeks, Forcing Her to Perform Sex Acts for Food and Water
Jared Stephen Morgan, 37, faces up to life in prison
A 37-year-old Utah man has been charged with allegedly holding his girlfriend’s teenage daughter captive in a shed for weeks and sexually assaulting her in 2014 after the alleged victim went to the police for the first time last week, according to court records obtained by PEOPLE.
Jared Stephen Morgan, 37, allegedly forced the teen to eat rat excrement and drink her own urine during the six-week period, according to a probable cause statement filed Monday with the 8th District Court in Duchesne County in Utah.
He also forced her to perform sex acts in exchange for food and water, the court records allege.
Morgan was charged last week with aggravated human trafficking, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, rape and forcible sodomy, all first-degree felonies. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
Morgan was booked Friday at the Salt Lake County jail. He was held in lieu of $100,000 bail. It was not immediately clear whether he has entered a plea or retained an attorney.
According to the probable cause statement, the teen met Morgan in 2013, when she was 17. Her mother had just gotten divorced; she met Morgan online began dating him that October, she told police.
As soon as her mother started dating Morgan, he allegedly told the teen to call him “Papa” and became the father figure in her life, according to the court records.
While teaching her how to do jujitsu, he would allegedly have her sit in a position known as “mounting” – straddling him while sitting on his lap – which is “not the usual beginning position,” the court records state.
During this time, she and her mother and siblings would stay at his cabin in Duchesne County.
Once, while she was still 17, Morgan allegedly invited her to the cabin “to help him take care of puppies and get away from her life stress,” the documents state.
During that trip, the teen allegedly got into a cot with Morgan because she had no other place to sleep, after which he “began to kiss her neck and rub her shoulders and hips,” the records state.
She tried to pull away and Morgan said he was sorry, the documents allege. But the next night, after Morgan allegedly held the teen’s hand and kissed her outside the cabin, he performed sex acts on her, the records allege.
The teen told authorities that she “was not comfortable with this but did not know how to respond,” the record alleges.
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A year later, when the teen was alone at the cabin with Morgan and they began fighting, she pushed him, and he allegedly “grabbed her and pulled her to the shed and locked her inside,” the documents state.
She allegedly said she couldn’t recall how many days she was in the shed before Morgan told her she had to eat rat excrement off the floor and drink his urine without vomiting, and that only then he would give her food, the documents allege.
The teen alleged that when she did as told, Morgan gave her a “small cup of water and a can of cold raviolis to eat,” the documents state.
Morgan would allegedly come to the shed and tell her she would have to “perform a sexual act to get food and water,” the documents state.
The teen “didn’t dare tell him no as she was afraid he would not give her any food or water,” the documents allege.
She further alleged that Morgan forced her to have sex while he was wearing “a firearm on his hip,” according to the documents. He would also allegedly hold a stun gun in one hand and force her “to perform oral sex or rape her,” the documents state.
The teen alleged she believes she was locked in the shed from the beginning of June 2014 until the middle of July.
The last time he allegedly forced her to have sex in the shed, she was bleeding, the records state. When he allegedly drove her to his parents’ house to clean up, she said she was “so scared he was going to kill her,” the records state.
After she showered, he allegedly grabbed her by the back of the head and told her, “If you tell her … I will end you.”
In August 2012, Morgan was charged in Salt Lake County with five first-degree felonies for allegedly sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl, for about eight years, starting in 2006. The case was dismissed about eight months later.
When asked why the case was dismissed, Jeffrey Hall, chief deputy for the Salt Lake County district attorney’s office told The Salt Lake Tribune that “changes to the evidence subsequent to filing” caused prosecutors to believe they did not have a good chance at a conviction.