Illinois trucker found not guilty of sexually assaulting Salt Lake City woman

A jury trial for John Redmond, an Illinois trucker charged with sexually assaulting a woman who worked as an escort in Salt Lake City was held this week at the Matheson Courthouse. The jury has determined that Redmond is not guilty and he will be released from prison. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — An Illinois trucker charged with sexually assaulting a woman in Salt Lake City is released from jail after a jury ruled Friday after a four-day trial that he was not guilty.

John Henry Redmond, 37, was charged in late 2019 with two counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of object rape and one count of aggravated kidnapping, all first-degree felonies and one count obstruction of justice, a second degree felony. The jury decided that Redmond was guilty of a lesser offense instead of aggravated kidnapping and convicted him of unlawful confinement, a Class B misdemeanor.

The jury received the case Friday morning, after hearing closing arguments, and deliberated until around 8 p.m. At one point, they asked the court what would happen if they couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict.

“Mr. Redmond has been in jail far longer than the maximum sentence for unlawful confinement,” 3rd District Judge Vernice Trease said.

She handed down a sentence, minutes after the verdict was read, of 180 days in jail and awarded Redmond the time he has already served. Trease said they would send a release order to the jail on Friday evening.

The accuser claims she met Redmond while working as an escort and was paid $200 for an hour of companionship, but refused any sexual advances when he offered her an additional $800 for sex. She said that after that he threatened her with a gun and sexually assaulted her.

The woman said during her testimony at the jury trial that she agreed to what he was doing because she was scared.

“I was scared…I didn’t want to die,” she said.

She explained that as an escort, she only provided companionship and returned “tickles” but did not have sex with clients. After her interaction with Redmond, the woman said she left her escort position.

According to trial testimony, Redmond made a video of the woman where she said the actions were consensual, and walked her to her car. The woman later went to the hospital and told authorities she had been assaulted.

Redmond testified at the jury trial, answering questions from his attorneys and prosecutors. He and his lawyers denied having had a gun or using it to threaten the woman. For a brief part of the trial, Redmond decided to represent himself so he could claim that a video presented in evidence was fake, then asked his lawyers to represent him again.

Assistant District Attorney Brandon Simmons argued that even in the version of the story told by Redmond, he could be charged with sexual assault, meaning it was not a “he said against her” situation. said”. He told the jury that Redmond knew his actions could be considered sexual assault, but he acted anyway.

“His hour is $200, not his body,” Simmons said.

He argued that detectives not finding a gun does not mean a gun did not exist and that Redmond would have had time to hide a gun. He asked the jury to find Redmond guilty on all counts.

Katherine Conyers, one of Redmond’s attorneys, said in her closing arguments that escort agencies often feature provocative photos and give false information. She said escorts frequently provide “enhancements” to earn more money and the government is aware of this as they demand STD tests. for commercial licenses.

She said the escort agency was hiding information, but Redmond was not, he was open about what he was looking for and gave the woman accurate information.

Conyers pointed to inconsistencies between the story the accuser told different police officers and inconsistencies in her trial testimony. She told the jury that the woman was threatening to report him if he didn’t pay the $800 he had promised.

“It’s all about the money,” Conyers said. She said Redmond not paying “wasn’t right, but it’s not rape.”

She told the jury that Redmond was guilty of unlawful confinement, for forcing the woman to stay and making a video when she wanted to leave, but that he was not guilty of aggravated kidnapping or sexual assault. . The jury agreed with Conyers after reviewing the evidence.

Emily Ashcraft joined as a reporter in 2021. She covers court and legal affairs, as well as health, faith and religion news.

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