SALT LAKE CITY — A Murray man has been charged with collecting thousands of dollars from a woman to provide protection against people who she believed were seeking revenge for a killing she commissioned.
But police say the killing never actually happened and the man wasn’t really protecting the woman from anyone, but was just collecting her money.
Bryan Kofi Gedemah, 38, was charged Wednesday in 2nd District Court with theft by extortion, a second-degree felony.
The bizarre case began in January when a woman “agreed to pay (Gedemah) $12,000 in order for (him) and his associates to provide protection from an individual who made threats of physical harm to (her) and sexually assaulted her. During this time (Gedemah) received numerous payments of money totaling in excess of $7,000 from (the woman) toward this $12,000 figure,” according to charging documents.
Police say Gedemah and the woman have known each other since at least 2016. At some point, the woman said she received a text from one of Gedemah’s associates claiming he would release an explicit video of her to her friends and family unless she paid him, a police affidavit states. Gedemah allegedly told the woman he paid the man $250,000 to take care of the problem.
But the man then allegedly demanded more money. This time, the woman told police that Gedemah “told her he could hire someone to take care of (that man), meaning they could hire a hit man to kill (him),” according to the affidavit.
The woman said Gedemah told her the “hit” was carried out in 2017, the affidavit states.
After that, the woman claimed she was contacted by at least two men who were sent by the deceased victim’s widow “to punish her.” The woman told police for at least 18 months she was raped more than two dozen times by these men, the affidavit states.
Soon, the woman started paying Gedemah $300 out of every paycheck she earned so he would provide protection to her and her children, according to the affidavit.
But in August, the woman told Gedemah “she was no longer going to pay him any money, as she did not believe the threats and harassment had abated,” according to charging documents.
This angered Gedemah, who demanded she continue paying him, and sent the woman messages such as, “Find my money or wish you were dead,” police wrote in court documents.
After the woman went to police, investigators used the woman’s phone to pose as her and sent messages to Gedemah stating she would not pay him anymore. Gedemah responded, “I’m coming for my money, be ready for the hell I’m gonna rain down on you,” the affidavit says.
On Sept. 10, Gedemah was questioned by Layton police and admitted the man allegedly killed in 2017 was alive and that “he has provided zero protection for her children” and “confirmed the protection of the children is a lie,” according to the affidavit.
Layton police on Thursday said the case is still a “very active” investigation and additional charges are likely. As for who has allegedly been sexually assaulting the woman, police said that is part of the ongoing investigation.
Correction: An earlier version incorrectly stated Bryan Kofi Gedemah is charged in 3rd District Court. The charges are filed in 2nd District Court.