A man convicted of sexually abusing a teenage employee at a Midvale fast food restaurant where he was his boss faces new charges after prosecutors said they recently learned the abuse had gone further. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
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MIDVALE – A former fast food manager currently serving a prison sentence for improperly touching a teenage employee is now facing new charges after investigators say they have since found the abuse went much deeper .
Jeffrey Howard Pruyne, 28, who moved to Rochester, New Hampshire, shortly after the initial allegations came to light, was charged in 3rd District Court on Thursday with two counts of first-degree felony rape.
In 2020, Pruyne was arrested and charged with sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl he met at a Midvale fast food restaurant where he was a manager and she was an employee. Pruyne groomed the teenager, eventually telling her they were getting married and he controlled who she could talk to, according to the charging documents.
He was found guilty in March of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, and was sentenced to a year in prison with 184 days suspended. He arrived at Salt Lake County Jail on April 26 to begin serving a six-month sentence, court records show. Pruyne was still in jail Thursday.
In April, after Pruyne’s sentencing, the girl revealed that she had indeed had sex with Pruyne at his West Jordan home, but “said she hid this new information from investigators and prosecutors”, according to a search warrant affidavit. In a subsequent interview with a West Jordan police detective, the girl further stated that she “hid the critical information from investigators and prosecutors because Jeffrey made her promise that she would not speak to person having sex because he would be in a lot of trouble.”
As police investigated the new allegations, they learned that Pruyne took the girl to Planned Parenthood and paid for birth control, the charges allege. The girl also said “they were both fired from Chick-fil-A after they were caught kissing at the restaurant.”
During her interview with the police, the girl also said that after Pruyne was first charged, he called her and asked her not to divulge any information, stating that “he might to work with the groping allegations, but he would be in a lot of trouble if anyone found out he had sex.(The girl) said she was manipulated into not disclosing all the information “, say the indictment documents.