A Republican candidate for Senate in Utah has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman.
According to court records obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune, Brandon Beckham forced himself on a female acquaintance last summer after the two met up to watch a movie.
The woman told police that she left the room and returned to find Beckham in his underwear with a blanket spread out on the floor. He “aggressively” told her to give him a massage. She agreed to give the massage but he made additional demands and started to remove her clothes and touched her in an unwanted manner. She told officers that she asked Beckham to stop but he ignored her saying “she was being too conservative” and kept going.
He pinned her to the ground and continued to sexually assault her.
According to court documents, “In a pretext phone call, [Beckham] admitted to victim that he was ‘wild’ and ‘he had gone too far.’ [Beckham] apologized many times. [Beckham] stated he was just being kinky and didn’t know the victim was ‘that uncomfortable’ with it.”
He was charged with forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony on February 25. Days later, on February 28, filed his declaration of candidacy to represent District 23. He is running against current Republican Sen. Keith Grover in the GOP primary.
In a statement, Beckham said he was “shocked” to learn of the case against him.
“I have still not been informed by any legal authority about an actual complaint, but I categorically deny the account of events portrayed in the media,” he continued. “Given that these alleged events supposedly took place nearly a year ago, I find today’s timing disturbing. Based on media reports, I have retained legal counsel, who has strongly advised against litigating this matter in the press. But, if and when charges are filed, I am confident in our defense. I am grateful for the many messages from friends and supporters encouraging me to stay strong and move forward with my campaign for the Utah Senate.”
Beckham is very involved in the Utah GOP. In 2020, he led an effort to try and convince state party members to censure Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) for voting to convict Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial in the Senate for withholding congressionally approved military aid from Ukraine.
Beckham said at the time that he “thought it was pretty obvious” that Trump was innocent and Romney’s vote was “sort of an embarrassment to our party.”
More recently, he pushed a party resolution banning critical race theory (CRT) from Utah’s public schools. He also directed and produced an anti-CRT film called “Identity Marxism,” which he released last month in collaboration with Sen. John Johnson, R-Ogden, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.