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Police capture suspected rapist released from jail by mistake

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Posted at 4:54 PM, Aug 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-07 19:05:43-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A suspected rapist who was accidentally let out of the Salt Lake County Jail on Wednesday was captured Thursday morning.

Officers from the Unified Police Major Investigations Unit captured Anthony S. Moultry in the area of 300 E 400 S in Salt Lake City around 10 a.m. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail.

Moulty's accidental release Wednesday was all the result of a paperwork error. On Wednesday morning, Moultry hadn't been formally charged so he was supposed to be released. Murray Police came down to the jail and filed an extension to keep him behind bars until formal charges could be filed.

The sheriff said his jail staff received the paperwork but didn't process it correctly, and they let the inmate walk.

Moultry is accused of raping a woman at her Murray home on August 3.

According to charges filed after Moultry was let out of jail, he "forced H.J. onto her bed. The defendant told H.J. to remove her pants and when she refused the defendant threatened to kill her."

Then, Moultry allegedly sexually assaulted the victim and stole her wallet. Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said they are taking steps to protect that victim now that Moultry’s whereabouts are unknown.

"In conjunction with Murray, we have individuals specifically managing her security right now, and she is upset, and she has every right to be upset," he said.

"It's a rare instance here,” he added.  “And I'm not shirking any responsibilities, but Salt Lake County Jail is very good about maintaining and ensuring people are in our custody. But this is a bad mistake, and we'll try not to have it happen."

Sheriff Winder said new policies are being put in place to prevent this from happening again, and the hunt is on for Moultry. On Wednesday, police were working leads, searching known addresses, including a family member's apartment building at 4900 South 850 East in Murray.

The Unified Police Department’s armored vehicle was spotted leaving the complex, but there was no sign of Moultry, who has had several run-ins with the law.

He was booked into Salt Lake County Jail in July 2012 for assault and domestic violence and resisting a cop, among other charges. A month later, he turned up in Davis County Jail for allegedly driving under the influence.

"He has a serious violent history that shouldn't be taken lightly," Winder said.

Initially, police didn't think Moultry was aware he was accidentally released, but by Wednesday night, after news reports, the sheriff said that's highly unlikely.

Winder also said that to keep this from happening again, the jail will have new individuals observing each release, so officials will change it up, and they won't have the same staff members doing that work.