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Man assaulted girl in hotel van, police say

SHARE Man assaulted girl in hotel van, police say
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SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake man has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a teen girl inside a hotel transport van, according to police.

James Mahana, 51, was arrested Wednesday morning by Salt Lake police for investigation of two counts of forcible sodomy, two counts of forcible sexual abuse, object rape, drug possession and child endangerment.

According to a police affidavit, Mahana and a 16-year-old girl were “staying” in a transport van that belonged to a local hotel. Detectives believe Mahana broke into a van that wasn’t being used at a downtown hotel and stayed there for an undetermined amount of time between Tuesday and Wednesday, said Salt Lake police officer Michael Ruff.

The girl was listed in police databases as “missing” since Monday, he said.

“While in the van the victim told officers that (Mahana) forced her to perform sexual acts by telling her if she didn’t he would beat her up and put her out in the sun and not give her any water,” the affidavit states.

The girl also told detectives that Mahana gave her meth and that she complied with his demands “through fear of being physically assaulted,” according to the affidavit.