New charges have been filed against a man accused of assaulting a woman and holding her against her will in Garden City.
John Joseph Sharkey, 43, appeared in 1st District Court in Rich County on Tuesday where he was arraigned on two additional charges filed earlier that morning. Sharkey now faces a first-degree count of aggravated sexual abuse and a second-degree count of obstructing justice, in addition to nine felonies and misdemeanors filed in January.
Judge Angela Fonnesbeck ordered Sharkey to be held without bail after hearing arguments from prosecutors and defense counsel.
Prosecuting attorney Tony Baird told the court Sharkey had been paroled over a year ago after serving 10 years in a Colorado State Prison for assault with a deadly weapon. Baird relayed to the court the allegations in the case, including physical strikes, strangulation and sexual abuse. Baird told the court the alleged victim was forced to flee unclothed to a nearby business, where a worker observed numerous signs of injury and what appeared to be frostbite on her feet.
Baird said there were no conditions outside of incarceration that could protect the community or the alleged victim.
Defense attorney Mike McGinnis argued for Sharkey’s pretrial release on an ankle monitor. McGinnis told the court Sharkey was not a flight risk, had a job and family in the area, and had successfully completed his recent parole.
Fonnesbeck ultimately granted prosecutors’ motion for detention, ordering Sharkey to be held without bail pending trial.
Sharkey was arrested and booked into the Cache County Jail on Jan. 26 after incidents alleged earlier that day. Rich County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of a woman who had entered a Garden City hotel office naked and asking to use a phone after being assaulted.
In an affidavit filed with the court, the alleged victim told deputies the assault — which took place over the course of more than two hours — involved hand strikes and being strangled unconscious along with other explicit acts.
Deputies wrote Sharkey attempted to sexually assault the woman, threatened her with a pellet gun, held her at knifepoint, and dumped water on her face in a manner “consistent with waterboarding.”
Deputies wrote that Sharkey also took the alleged victim’s phone when she tried to dial 911 and took a video of her unclothed with his phone and threatened to share the material.
When Sharkey was contacted by authorities, deputies wrote they were “startled” by the “very large” man, who immediately asked for a warrant. After a back-and-forth with deputies, Sharkey ultimately fled into a garage. Two attempts to subdue Sharkey with an electronic control device fell flat, and deputies were “forced to take the suspect to the ground.”
Sharkey again attempted to escape, according to deputies, after he “jerked away” while handcuffed and fled back into the garage.
Sharkey was again restrained, leg shackles were applied and he was transported to jail after being medically cleared at a local hospital.
Authorities confirmed the alleged victim was also transported to a hospital for treatment.