A 22-year-old Utah State University football player has been charged in 1st District Court after an intoxicated burglary and sexual assault episode alleged to have happened over the weekend.
Ismael (Izzy) Kalani Vaifo’ou has been charged with three counts of second-degree forcible sexual abuse, second-degree burglary, and misdemeanor counts of criminal trespassing and intoxication. Just prior to Vaifo’ou’s initial appearance in court on Monday, Cache County prosecutors filed an additional first-degree count of rape against Vaifo’ou.
Cache County prosecutors asked the court to hold Vaifo’ou in the Cache County Jail without bail, stating the nature of the charges showed a threat to the community. Judge Angela Fonnesbeck ordered Vaifo’ou to be held until a further detention hearing slated for April 26.
On Sunday, according to an affidavit filed with the court, Vaifo’ou was reported to have entered several dormitory suites on USU’s campus and proceeded to inappropriately touch one sleeping resident.
USU Police officers wrote one alleged victim awoke to doors opening and closing in her suite. Each suite is comprised of general living areas and keyed bedrooms for students living there; police wrote Vaifo’ou gained access through other students’ tampering with the latches or leaving their doors unlocked.
Police wrote Vaifo’ou entered the alleged victim’s room and “took a step towards her bed,” but left when confronted.
The affidavit states Vaifo’ou then entered a second room, stripped to his underwear, and got into bed with a second alleged victim while she was sleeping.
“It was reported that (the alleged victim) pushed him and told him to get out,” police wrote. “She reported that Izzy then got up, put his clothes on and left her room.”
Witnesses, who spoke with the alleged victim after the incident, told police the alleged victim disclosed being inappropriately touched under her clothing.
Police wrote Vaifo’ou admitted to touching the alleged victim, but said all contact was done over the clothes.
“Izzy then asked (the alleged victim) if she wanted to have sex at which time she woke up and pushed him away,” police wrote. “Izzy stated that he then got dressed and left the apartment.”
Vaifo’ou was found by officers on the first floor of the building where the incident took place, showing indicators of intoxication.
Police wrote Vaifo’ou had entered yet another dorm room and spoke with a resident; Vaifo’ou told the man he had entered “a dark apartment and asked if (he) should be there,” and was told “no.” The man left Vaifo’ou in a hallway to see if others needed help, police wrote.
According to police, none of the parties involved had any prior interactions with Vaifo’ou prior to Sunday’s incident.
After Vaifo’ou’s hearing on Monday, one out of a handful of court observers called out in support of Vaifo’ou before being quieted by Fonnesbeck.
“We love you, Izzy,” the observer said.
According to USU’s 2021 football roster, Vaifo’ou is a sophomore defensive end from Salt Lake City. He originally signed on with the football team in 2017 and also served a mission in the Philippines for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Utah court records do not show a criminal history for Vaifo’ou in the state.