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Sex offender charged with holding renter captive in her room

David Michael Atherley
David Michael Atherley
Salt Lake County Jail

TAYLORSVILLE — A registered sex offender was charged Friday with holding a renter captive in her room.

David Michael Atherley, 54, is charged in 3rd District Court with lewdness, a third-degree felony, plus unlawful detention and two counts of threat of violence, class B misdemeanors.

Starting on Aug. 16, a woman who rents a room in Atherley’s house said Atherley — who had been “constantly” sending her nude photos of himself and making sexual advances — stood in front of her in the hallway naked while performing a sex act, according to charging documents.

The woman said she went back to her room “because she felt it was no longer safe to come out.”

Atherley yelled threats at the woman and threatened to assault her, the charges state. The woman called her boyfriend to come and get her. The boyfriend told police he could hear Atherley yell at her while he was on the phone, and his girlfriend yelled back, “Get out of my face!”

Another renter told investigators that Atherley had been yelling at the woman and threatening her “for several days” leading up to the incident, according to charging documents. He said the woman was in “fear” of Atherley and he had tried to help but was then threatened himself, the charges state.

The boyfriend flagged down a Unified police officer while he was still on the phone.

“The officer can hear the female crying on the phone and also hears a male suspect screaming loudly in the background,” according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

Officers arrived at the house, near 2300 West and 4600 South, and called Atherley outside where he was arrested. The woman was found still inside her room.

Atherley was convicted of lewdness in 2004, 2005, 2006, three times in 2008 and also of lewdness involving a child in 2008, according to court records. He was also convicted of public indecency in one case and obscene acts in another in 1999.