The main function of the Salt Lake County Jail is to receive inmates and maintain them securely and in this instance we did not and that failure must be corrected and we are going to work diligently to do that. – Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder
SALT LAKE CITY — Police worked through the night before successfully locating and arresting a man accused of rape who was erroneously released from Salt Lake County Jail on Wednesday.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said officers with the Unified Police Major Investigations Unit found Anthony S. Moultry, 27, on Thursday morning.
"We again want to apologize to the community but also want to assure them that when we promise we will capture these individuals, we mean it," Winder said. "And I'm extremely proud and thankful for our members that worked so diligently to do so."
Moultry was located around 10 a.m. near 300 East and 400 South, Unified Police Sgt. Cammie Skogg said. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail following his arrest.
Moultry was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with rape, a first-degree felony, and burglary, a second-degree felony. He was also charged with theft and lewdness, both class B misdemeanors.
The man is accused of forcing his way into a woman's Murray home on Aug. 3, restraining her and raping her. He also took $100, according to charging documents. The woman reported that she later realized he had also taken her wallet.
Police found the woman's wallet in a Dumpster near Moultry's residence, not far from the woman's home, the charges state.
The alleged victim talked Thursday with the Deseret News, saying she wanted to encourage other victims — of Moultry or otherwise — to come forward.
"The police will be there for you," the 58-year-old woman said Thursday. "There's a place they can call. You've got to come forward. … I'm sure this is not the first time he's done this. I'm absolutely positive that had I not grabbed part of whatever soul he had left, he, I felt, was getting ready to stab me in the back."
The woman said she met Moultry in their neighborhood a few weeks before the alleged assault when he stopped her to introduce himself and his wife.
On Aug. 3, she said he showed up at her home while she was in her yard, tried to start a conversation and kept putting headphones on her and asking her to listen to some music he recorded. She said she tried to distract him and make excuses in the hope he would leave, but Moultry hung around.
"I could just start to feel there's something going on really wrong here," she said.
The woman said the man kept asking to see her bedroom before forcing his way into the room and beginning to assault her. She said she was screaming loudly and was sure someone would hear her.
"I'm in shock," she said. "I'm in total, absolute shock, because I really thought somebody would be able to hear me, but as it proceeded, it was like nobody can hear me."
The woman said she repeatedly asked him not to hurt her and promised she wouldn't tell anyone what had happened. She told him to work on his marriage and his music, and eventually the man took the money and left.
Moultry was booked into jail the day of the alleged assault but was accidentally released about 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.
Winder said the man's wife, Rainey Moultry, 44, assisted her husband in avoiding capture and that the couple was working on a plan to leave the area but were slowed by "limited means."
Rainey Moultry was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of obstruction of justice, according to a jail report.
"We want people to know, if you facilitate people's flight from justice, we will go after you," Winder said.
As the deadline for Moultry's release approached, Murray police had obtained and delivered an extension order about 9 a.m. Wednesday that would have kept him in jail until charges were filed later that day.
The sheriff confirmed the extension was successfully received by the jail but was somehow overlooked — despite a process that requires five individuals to review a release packet — and Moultry was released.
"He knew good and doggone well he should have been cooling his heels in our jail," Winder said.
Moultry attempted to call some of his contacts to try to get a ride. A former inmate refused to help and contacted authorities, police said.
Winder said Murray police officers did everything right throughout the process and that the error was on the part of sheriff's office employees who failed to see the charging documents in Moultry's file. A Murray police officer who was checking the jail docket noticed the erroneous release and notified sheriff's officials.
An investigation has been initiated to identify what went wrong, and until then, every booking will be given extra scrutiny before a suspect is released. Winder said an additional sergeant has been charged with personally reviewing every inmate's file.
"The main function of the Salt Lake County Jail is to receive inmates and maintain them securely, and in this instance we did not and that failure must be corrected and we are going to work diligently to do that," the sheriff said. "This individual could have perpetrated additional crimes in the community, so we're certainly not taking this lightly," Winder said.
The sheriff said those involved in the release were "devastated," but if the investigation shows there were failures or omissions, disciplinary actions may be necessary. He said he didn't want to play the "blame game" so much as focus on what could make the jail safer and prevent similar incidents in the future.
"The individuals involved in the review of this packet were emotionally distraught when they discovered this individual had been released, as you can understand," Winder said. "These are human beings. All human beings are capable of making mistakes."
Rainey Moultry met with police officers and said she did not know where her husband was or how to get in touch with him, the jail report states. She was given a number and told to contact police if she heard from him.
Later, she was seen dropping him off in the area of 210 S. Rio Grande St. She later admitted to police that she met with her husband, gave him $20 and left without notifying police, according to the jail report.
Contributing: Mike Anderson
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