Snow student dismissed following filing of rape charges
EPHRAIM—Former Snow College student Gabriel Simpson, 19, has been dismissed from school and charged with first-degree felony rape for allegedly raping a female student he was hanging out with on campus, according to Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels.
Simpson allegedly met the victim, a female student, “under the auspices of working on a school project and basically he raped her,” Daniels said. The two students had been “hanging out prior to the incident,” which occurred in student housing on Sept. 27, 2018.
Simpson was arrested by the Snow College Police Department and booked into Sanpete County Jail on Oct. 26, 2018.
Daniels has prosecuted several rape cases in the last the five years or so originating from Snow College. “It happens more often than people might think,” he said.
After Simpson was arrested, he spent a few days in jail and was released on $50,000 bail. According to court records, Simpson is considered a flight risk because his family lives in Germany and he was “planning on leaving the country to join his family.”
Simpson has signed a “supervised release agreement” with the pretrial services and is not allowed to leave Utah, Daniels said. He is required to call in to the sheriff’s office every work day.
At this stage in the proceedings, Daniels want to assert Simpson’s presumption of innocence.
At his initial court appearance, Simpson was assigned a public defender, but since that time, he has changed his mind and he is looking for a private attorney to represent him, Daniels said. A court hearing has been scheduled for March 6 to discuss his attorney status.
“In a case of this magnitude, I’m going to be very careful about what plea deal I offer.” Daniels said. “For right now, we’re headed for trial.” As in any plea arrangement, Daniels wants to be sure the victim agrees.
Snow College assistant to the president Marci Larsen confirmed that Simpson has been permanently dismissed from school because of disciplinary actions taken against him for violating the code of conduct. She mentioned that Snow College Chief of Police Derek Walk reports directly to the Vice President for Student Success when disciplinary issues arise.
In Utah, first-degree felonies are punishable by five years’ to life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.