SALT LAKE CITY — A Richfield man was arrested after police say he forcefully ripped the clothing of a woman who wanted to buy a washer and dryer from him, then sexually assaulted her.
The same man is suspected of taking pictures of women in a rehabilitation center and offering money to women to expose themselves, according to court documents.
Russell S. Curtis, 61, was arrested Thursday for investigation of object rape, forcible sexual abuse, theft and unlawful detention.
On Wednesday, a woman who was inquiring about buying a washer and dryer met Curtis at a storage shed facility in Richfield. Curtis took the woman to the shed where the washer and dryer were stored, then closed the bay door halfway, according to a police affidavit.
“(The woman) said she thought this was weird and told Russell that she needed to leave and Russell replied, ‘You’re not going anywhere.’ Russell told (the woman) that if she wanted the washer and dryer then she was going to have to take her clothes off,” the affidavit states. “(The woman) refused and Russell said that he wanted to take pictures of her and she replied, ‘No you’re not.’”
Curtis then tore the woman’s clothing and told her about another woman he watched unclothed in one of the sheds, according to police.
“(The woman) told Russell he was a sick person. Russell told (her) that she could say anything she wanted because nobody would believe anything she said after this,” according to the affidavit.
The woman told police that “Russell would get angry and then be polite and his mood would change from one extreme to the other.”
He also threatened to kill the woman and her son if she contacted police, the affidavit says.
Curtis sexually assaulted the woman, according to the affidavit. As that was happening, he told her that he used to work at a care center and would “get to see” unclothed patients “all the time.”
He allegedly made similar comments when interviewed by police.
In February “multiple victims came forward” and reported that Curtis had offered them money to expose themselves to him, according to a search warrant affidavit Richfield police filed in 6th District Court.
At that time, Curtis admitted “to having offered multiple woman money and/or free rent at a storage unit” for taking their clothing off, the warrant states, adding that Curtis also said he had seen 350 patients at a local rehabilitation center in various states of undress when he worked for the center.
“He stated that’s when his addiction started,” police wrote in the warrant.
One woman said Curtis “has multiple pictures of the women” at the rehab center in various stages of undress and claimed he keeps those photos on an SD card, the warrant says.
“Russell also admitted to having bailed out another female subject out of jail and a vehicle out of impound if she would repay him the bail money and also (take her pants off),” according to the warrant.
In March, “additional women came forward providing written statements stating that Russell uses a camera to take pictures of the women who have accepted his money,” the warrant states.
Police reported seizing several cameras, a cellphone and an SD card as a result of that warrant.
No formal criminal charges had been filed against Curtis as of Friday.