REXBURG — A man is in jail awaiting a jury trial after he allegedly raped a woman inside a Rexburg church in January 2018.
Gary Jason Tauialo, 31, is charged with rape where the victim resists but resistance is overcome by force or violence, and forcible sexual penetration by the use of a foreign object. If convicted, Tauialo could spend up to life in prison.
According to court documents obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, on Jan. 12, 2018, the Rexburg Police Department responded to Madison Memorial Hospital to collect a sexual assault exam kit of a Jane Doe. The hospital was unable to give the name of the victim, who left the hospital before the officer arrived. On Jan. 13, 2018, the victim came to the Rexburg Police Department to file a report of the rape that she said occurred Jan. 11, 2018, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building on West 1st South.
The victim told investigators she and Tauialo had met through friends at church and were there to play volleyball that night. The victim, who knew Tauialo as Jason Naea Toeava, said Tauialo told her because of his position as the ward clerk, he needed to lock up the doors of the church before they left. The victim went around the church with Tauialo to lock up the building, and that is when he allegedly assaulted her, according to court documents.
“She said that after they had checked on a door under a staircase, she was turning to walk away when Jason grabbed her by the waist, turned her around and started kissing her. She stated that Jason then pushed her against a wall and stuck his hands down her pants,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Tauialo allegedly continued to sexually assault the victim as she repeatedly told Tauailo no. Eventually, Tauialo led the victim into a room up the stairs and closed the door behind him. She told police that he then violently raped her, according to court documents.
The victim told detectives Tauialo took her home, at which point she had a friend take her to the emergency room for a sexual assault examination.
Detectives spoke with Tauialo, who said it was the victim who initiated the kissing, but when pressed further, he asked for a lawyer. Police later gathered a DNA sample from Tauialo through a warrant and sent the sample to a state crime lab for testing.
On Dec. 12, the Idaho State Police contacted the Rexburg Police Department with results from the DNA swab. According to court documents, the DNA collected during the sexual assault examination is a statistically likely match to the DNA swab collected from Tauialo through the warrant.
Madison County Prosecutors filed charges against Tauialo on Jan. 15, of this year. District Judge Jon J. Shindurling arraigned Tauialo on April 8. Tauialo remains in the Madison County Jail on $100,000 bail awaiting a jury trial that is scheduled to begin July 17.