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Utah Supreme Court upholds dismissal of lawsuit filed by woman raped by jail inmate

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PROVO, Utah — The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that Utah County and its sheriff's office are not liable for the violent rape of a woman who was left for dead along the Provo River Trail in 2010.

The high court on Thursday upheld a district judge's decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the victim based on the Governmental Immunity Act, which protects the county from liability of government functions.

Court documents state that a Utah County Jail inmate who had walked away from a work release program had choked, beat and raped the then-19-year-old victim.

The woman sued the county and the sheriff's office alleging that 38-year-old Shawn Leonard hadn't been properly screened for the work release program.

Leonard pleaded guilty in 2011 and was sentenced to life in prison.

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