Over a year before University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck’s charred remains were found in a shallow grave, the man accused in her murder allegedly tried to kidnap and sexually abuse another woman, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.
Ayoola Ajayi, a 31-year-old former Army IT specialist, has been charged with one count of aggravated kidnapping and three counts of forcible sexual abuse after the woman reported she was assaulted at his home in March 2018.
Prosecutors allege Ajayi abused the woman, only identified in the charging documents as K.W., after the two met on a dating app. After one “in-person meeting,” Ajayi invited K.W “to his home to cook her dinner” on March 10, 2018, according to a probable cause affidavit.
“Following dinner, K.W. and Ajayi began watching television on Ajayi’s couch at which point Ajayi placed his arm around K.W. and began kissing her,” the court documents state.
The woman told investigators Ajayi began to “intensely” kiss her before trying to touch her “between her legs.” When she tried to get away, Ajayi allegedly “pinned her down on the couch against her will” and “placed his hand on K.W.’s thigh and skirt and began grinding on her, pressing his penis against her vagina over the clothes.”
The affidavit states that Ajayi grabbed her breast and bit her at least three times, “causing her significant pain, and left bruising and bite marks.”
It is not immediately clear how the woman was able to escape Ajayi’s house.
Prosecutors said Tuesday’s charges were filed “as part of a native investigation” involving Ajayi, who was arrested on June 28 for the murder of Mackenzie Lueck.
Last week, he was also charged with 19 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor after authorities found numerous pornographic photos of children on his computer during their homicide investigation.
Ajayi has not yet entered pleas to the charges, and his court-appointed attorneys declined to comment about the latest allegations. He may face the death penalty if convicted in Lueck’s murder.
Lueck disappeared on June 17 after flying into Salt Lake City from California around 2 a.m. Authorities say the 23-year-old took a Lyft from the airport to a local park, where she is believed to have met up with Ajayi around 3 a.m. local time.
“Mackenzie was met at Hatch Park by an individual in a vehicle,” Salt Lake City Police Assistant Chief Tim Doubt previously told reporters. “The Lyft driver left Mackenzie at the park with that person and stated that Mackenzie did not appear to be in any type of distress.”
Phone records show Lueck started texting with Ajayi one day prior and sent her last text to him before 3 a.m., County District Attorney Sim Gill previously said. According to court documents, “cell phone records for both Mackenzie and Ajayi place them at Hatch Park” right after she was dropped off.
Ajayi told police he texted Lueck on June 16, but didn’t communicate with her after that. He also denied ever having seen a picture of Lueck despite having multiple photos of her on his phone, police said.
Lueck’s charred body was found on July 3 in a shallow grave about an hour from the park.