A man who authorities say held a woman captive in Garden City during an assault that rendered her unconscious was arraigned in 1st District Court on Thursday.
John Joseph Sharkey, 43, has been charged with first-degree aggravated kidnapping, second-degree aggravated assault, second-degree aggravated sexual extortion of an adult, third-degree aggravated assault, third-degree escape from official custody and four additional misdemeanors.
During Sharkey’s appearance, prosecutors argued for him to be held without bail, citing the facts of the case and “extreme risk” posed to the community if he were to be released. Prosecutors relayed to the court that Sharkey had recently served 10 years in a Colorado prison for assault with a deadly weapon.
Judge Spencer Walsh ordered Sharkey to be held without bail until a hearing could be held to determine his future detention status. He is set to appear before Judge Angela Fonnesbeck on Feb. 9.
On Tuesday, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court, law enforcement responded to a report of a naked woman who had entered the office of a Garden City hotel stating she had been locked out of a nearby home in 12-degree weather. The woman told Rich County Sheriff’s deputies she had been held captive by Sharkey for over two hours and detailed how she had been assaulted in multiple ways.
The woman told deputies that she was held at knifepoint, threatened with a pellet gun, assaulted with punches and strangled unconscious. According to deputies, Sharkey attempted to sexually assault the victim, physically assaulted her with a bottle of liquor, dumped seltzer water on her face in a manner “consistent with waterboarding,” along with other degrading acts.
Deputies wrote that Sharkey also deprived the victim of her phone when she tried to call 911, took a video of her unclothed and threatened to share the material.
The alleged victim told deputies she believed Sharkey had died by suicide after she was eventually able to escape.
Rich County Sheriff Dale Stacey told The Herald Journal the injuries sustained by the woman were severe enough that she was transported by an ambulance to a hospital for treatment.
“We’re working to get her as much help as she needs,” Stacey said, explaining the sheriff’s office has been working with CAPSA and victim’s advocates regarding the incident. “It was not a good situation at all.”
According to the affidavit, authorities located the 6-foot 5-inch, 250 pound Sharkey hiding behind a coat rack in a small basement hallway of the home. Deputies wrote they were “startled” by the appearance of the “very large man,” and Sharkey immediately asked if they had a warrant.
After being asked to put his hands on his head, Sharkey again “demanded” a warrant.
Then, defying orders from deputies, Sharkey ran through a doorway into a garage. A stun gun was deployed but “did not achieve neuromuscular override with the suspect.” Deputies then used a second stun gun, but a “heavy Carhartt coat” worn by Sharkey thwarted the device’s probes.
Sharkey was then taken to the ground and handcuffed, deputies wrote. After it was believed Sharkey had calmed, he “jerked away” from deputies and fled back into the garage and attempted to shut the garage door. Sharkey was again restrained but continually resisted being placed in the patrol vehicle.
“We had to use a drive stun and eventually had to put a tether leash around his leg shackles and pull him into the cage where we were able to secure him,” deputies wrote.
Sharkey was booked into the Cache County Jail for holding purposes on Tuesday after being medically cleared at a local hospital.