Provo man admits groping women on BYU campus

A Provo man has admitted to grabbing and groping three women on or near the campus of Brigham Young University, attacking them while they were walking or out for a jog.

Jacob "Jack" Scott Hansen, 26, pleaded guilty Monday in 4th District Court to three counts of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor.

Hansen admitted to grabbing the buttocks of a woman who was jogging on March 27 and similarly groping another woman who was walking on BYU's campus the same day, court documents show.

The following day, he approached another woman walking on 500 East in Provo toward 600 North, grabbed her around the abdomen and inappropriately touched her, according to court records. A witness suspected Hansen "must have known the victim because of how intentional the act was," but he walked away quickly, charging documents state.

After his arrest on March 29, Hansen — then a senior at BYU — told police that he targeted one of the women on impulse and said groping "gives him a short release that helps him reset," according to the charges. The university did not immediately return messages Tuesday about whether he is still a student at BYU.

While searching for a suspect in the hours after the attacks, officers urged students not to travel alone when possible. They said the assailant wore dark glasses and a black mask, typically grabbing a woman from behind while pretending to fall or stumble into her and then apologizing as he walked away.

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A total of six women reported being victimized, according to BYU police.

On Monday, Hansen pleaded guilty as charged, but did so as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors. As part of the deal, he agreed not to commit any new offenses during "any period of probation," court documents say. His attorney, Susanne Gustin, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Prosecutors are awaiting an investigative report before making any recommendations about his sentence. Each conviction carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 20.

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