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Man sexually assaults hairdresser saying she was asking for it, police say

SHARE Man sexually assaults hairdresser saying she was asking for it, police say
Handcuffs hang from a bench in the pre-booking area of the Utah County Jail, where suicides are increasing.

Deseret News archives

OGDEN — A woman working at an Ogden salon was sexually assaulted by a client over the weekend, according to police.

The incident happened Saturday after the man went to the salon for a haircut.

Benjamin Zavala, 42, of Ogden, and the woman cutting his hair talked about “random things to pass the time,” according to a police affidavit. But after two other employees left the business to get lunch, leaving the woman alone with Zavala, “the victim then stated that the conversation began to get weird.”

Zavala began asking questions about the woman’s personal life and relationships and made comments about her appearance that made her uncomfortable, the affidavit states.

After the haircut was done and Zavala was paying, he forcefully grabbed the woman and told her “she was asking for it by not wearing a bra as well as being divorced,” according to the affidavit.

Zavala is then accused of pushing the woman against a wall and sexually assaulting her. The assault stopped when the woman punched Zavala in the face “causing him to back off and state he was sorry,” the affidavit says. The woman then grabbed a pair of scissors, chased the man out of the store and called police.

Officers found Zavala walking nearby and arrested him. He was booked into the Weber County Jail.

On Monday, Zavala was charged in 2nd District Court with object rape, a first-degree felony; and forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony. Prosecutors have asked a judge to hold him in custody without bail.