PROVO, Utah — The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that Utah County and its sheriff's office are not liable for the violent rape of a woman who was left for dead along the Provo River Trail in 2010.
The high court on Thursday upheld a district judge's decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the victim based on the Governmental Immunity Act, which protects the county from liability of government functions.
Court documents state that a Utah County Jail inmate who had walked away from a work release program had choked, beat and raped the then-19-year-old victim.
The woman sued the county and the sheriff's office alleging that 38-year-old Shawn Leonard hadn't been properly screened for the work release program.
Leonard pleaded guilty in 2011 and was sentenced to life in prison.