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Group demonstrates to support sex assault survivors ahead of court date for Utah businessman

<i>KSL</i><br/>A group gathered outside the Davis County
KSL
KSL
A group gathered outside the Davis County

By ANDREW ADAMS

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    FARMINGTON, Utah (KSL) — A group gathered outside the Davis County Justice Complex Monday to show their support for sexual assault survivors, including the alleged victims in a case involving a prominent businessman.

Kevin Linford faces seven total charges, including felony rape and forcible sexual abuse, stemming from alleged encounters with three different women at a singles party in Fruit Heights on Aug. 6.

An arraignment and bail hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.

According to Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings on Monday afternoon, prosecutors planned to move forward with the amended information and charges, though he noted that the investigation remained open.

On Monday evening, more than a dozen women — many of whom were sexual assault survivors themselves — showed up with signs and made their voices heard in support of the alleged victims in the Linford case, as well as anyone who had survived sexual violence.

“It (hits) pretty close to home for a lot of us here,” Larissa DeGraaff, one of the organizers, said.

Amber Thompson grew emotional talking about her reason for taking part in the demonstration.

“I want these women to get the justice that they need because I didn’t get justice for my case,” Thompson said. “It brings up a lot of emotions. It’s been over five years now, and this is my first time doing anything public — being with people who are also victims.”

Lori Brinkerhoff said coming out to show her support brought her uncomfortably close to the circumstances of her assault.

“My rapist lived in those apartments right there,” she said, pointing across the street. “Yeah. It’s really hard, but you know what’s harder is to hide in shame and not talk about it.”

Several of the women also called on the criminal justice system to do better in the prosecution of sex crimes.

All of the women said they hoped that their presence would let others who have experienced sexual violence know that there is a community to support them.

“That’s where you have women who are complete strangers who are showing up together,” Sarah Trujillo said. “We understand the pain and that it needs to be heard and it needs to be stopped and it can be stopped.”

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