“The Legacy Center is a safe place. They do a great job with security, and they’ll do even better now,” said Sergeant Marshall of the Lehi Police Department.
Three weeks ago, Jonathan Jareth Soberanis was arrested at the Legacy Center on suspicion of lewdness involving a child, criminal trespass with intent to commit a crime, unlawful detention of a minor, voyeurism against a child, sexual abuse of a child, resisting arrest and assault against a police officer. Soberanis was banned from the Legacy Center in 2015. His photo and name are kept in a binder at the front desk. Employees are trained to spot the handful of banned people entering the facility, but Soberanis didn’t enter through the main door.
“When we searched our security footage, we didn’t see him come through the front door,” said Cameron Boyle, Lehi’s assistant city administrator. Boyle and police are guessing Soberanis waited outside an exit door to slip in as someone left the building.
“We don’t know exactly how he did it. He may have even knocked on the door or blocked it open somehow. Most people wouldn’t think anything of holding the door open for a stranger,” added Sergeant Marshall.
“The staff is doing more walk-throughs, especially in the locker room. They’ve installed a new security gate since the incident, too,” added Melanie Hansen, spokesperson for Lehi City. Security gates were ordered before Soberanis snuck in but arrived after the incident. “They have a police officer who comes in and does walk-throughs, and the staff alerts the police anytime they see something suspicious.”
Legacy Center staff are trained to never personally to confront suspicious individuals but to alert the police.
“We have to have fire access, so we can’t lock things down completely. The Legacy Center staff does a good job controlling access. This was a crime of opportunity – he was looking to catch a child alone. Between the staff, police and parents, we need to try to eliminate the opportunity,” said Sergeant Marshall. He recommended parents make sure their child is not alone at the rec center or outdoor pool, even if they’re old enough to be there without a parent. “The buddy system is always best,” said Marshall. “You know your child best. You know if they need more warning or instruction. We can’t count on the bad guy following rules.”