St. George man suspected in previous rape case now faces new allegations of sexual assault

St. George Police patrol vehicle, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2018 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A St. George man has been charged with raping a woman — the second such charge filed against the suspect in less than two years.

Kristopher Nicholas Bixman, 21, has been charged with first-degree felony rape following an investigation into a sexual assault that allegedly took place in December 2019 after the allegation was reported April 29.

According to a probable cause statement filed with the court, officers spoke to the woman during a forensic interview conducted May 5, who reported she was at a friend’s home socializing and drinking alcohol on Dec. 29, 2019. When she became too intoxicated to drive, she decided to spend the night there.

She told officers that she was in bed when the suspect “suddenly and rapidly” removed some of her clothing, and soon after she felt a sharp pain and realized she was being sexually assaulted. She told the suspect to stop several times, according to the report, but the assault continued until she pushed him, at which point he stopped and left the room.

The 18-year-old grabbed her clothing and left the residence. The following day, she sent a message to the defendant about the incident and once he responded, she reported she never contacted Bixman again.

It wasn’t until the woman started to see a therapist that authorities were contacted late last month and the alleged incident was reported.

The woman told officers she did not call police at the time because of advice she received from a family member shortly after who suggested she shower and not contact authorities.

Later, officers learned the relative believed the woman would be interrogated by police while in a fragile state, the report states, which is why they told her not to report it at the time.

The suspect corroborated some of the information contained in the woman’s account of the night in question during an interview at the police station on Friday, but he gave a different account of the incident, reportedly describing it as consensual. He also gave conflicting statements when asked about specific details, and the according to the report, the inconsistencies continued throughout the interview.

The suspect was arrested and booked into jail on the felony rape charge. He was being held on $20,000 bail and was released after posting bond.

Bixman is scheduled to appear for a review hearing on an unrelated case involving two first degree felony charges — rape and object rape — at the end of the month.

Santa Clara-Ivins Police patrol vehicle, Santa Clara, Utah, March 2, 2021 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

In that case, Santa Clara-Ivins Police officers responded to a report of a sexual assault that allegedly took place in Ivins.

According to charging documents filed with the court, a woman called police reporting the assault at a residence Jan. 17, 2020. The woman reported that while the two were watching a movie, the suspect made several advances towards her and each time, the report states, the suspect was told to stop.

The woman also reported that she struggled against the suspect as he removed her pants and began sexually assaulting her despite repeated attempts to get him to stop. After multiple requests, the suspect stopped and the woman went into another room to dress.

She returned to the room to confront the suspect, she told police, which is when Bixman allegedly admitted he had heard the woman’s repeated requests for him to stop and then told her “he was sorry.”

The conversation was recorded on a cell phone that was later turned over to police.

During an interview with police, the suspect said he thought the woman was not serious when she continued to tell him “no,” and it wasn’t until she turned away from him that he believed she wanted him to stop.

The report also states that when officers attempted to narrow Bixman down on specifics, he responded by saying he could not answer their questions and had no knowledge of certain details.

Bixman also denied any knowledge that the conversation that took place between the two on the night of the incident was recorded, nor was he aware it had been turned over to police. He also said he could not remember certain details of the conversation when asked by police.

The suspect was arrested and transported to jail Jan. 22, 2020. H was held on $25,000 bail and was released three hours later after posting bond.

During a preliminary hearing held Jan. 11, District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox ruled there was probable cause to bind the defendant over for trial on the case, and Bixman is scheduled to appear for a review hearing on the case next week.

Following Friday’s arrest, the suspect is scheduled to make an initial appearance July 9.

Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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