Claims of kidnapping by 2 teens evaporate during investigation

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WEST JORDAN, Utah - A convicted sex offender is in jail again, after what started as a kidnapping and sex assault case with two teenagers.

But the story the young girls told police, apparently wasn’t entirely true.

West Jordan police detectives stayed busy Tuesday, sorting through information on the kidnapping and sex assault case that allegedly occurred Friday.

“We’ve been able to rule out a few things as we continue the investigation,” said West Jordan Police Sgt. Joe Monson.

Monson said two 14-year-old girls originally told investigators two men forced them into a car driven by 35-year-old Andrew Gwilliam on 6200 South between 4800 and 5600 Wests.

They reportedly all drove to a hotel. The teens said the two men left, then Gwilliam took the girls inside and had sexual contact with them.

Police found Gwilliam with the girls after a hotel clerk called police.

Gwilliam has served time in prison for kidnapping and forcible sexual abuse. When police heard what happened Friday, he was immediately booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.

After further investigation, detectives no longer think the teen's were kidnapped. Monson said surveillance footage shows Gwilliam as the only person in the car with the girls.

On Tuesday, they dropped the kidnapping charge.

They’re now trying to figure out where Gwilliam approached the two, and what transpired after the three took off.

"We know that the two 14-year-old girls were with Mr. Gwilliam at a local hotel,” Monson said.  “We are still investigating whether or not sexual contact occurred at that hotel."

Depending on what they find, Gwilliam may or may not still face the forcible sexual abuse charge.

But the fact that he is a registered sex offender and on parole means Gwilliam won’t be off the hook, even if the other charge is dropped.

Gwilliam is currently in a Sex Offender A program through the Utah Department of Corrections Adult Probation and Parole. Officials with AP&P say he isn’t allowed to have any contact with children under 18 years old without prior written approval.

AP&P representatives say they’ve already filed parole violation allegations against Gwilliam, which could lead to revoking his parole.

That’s what police are also looking at.

“He shouldn’t have been with them to begin with,” Monson said. “We’re focusing on that and just trying to figure out what elements are there for the crimes that may have occurred.”

 

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