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August 6, 2021

‘Star Wars’ collection helped police identify suspect in sex assault

MURRAY — Police on Tuesday arrested a man suspected of preying on homeless women.

Robert Joseph Davis, 45, of Murray, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Tuesday for investigation of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, rape and aggravated assault resulting in serious injury.

On April 27, police responded to a report of a woman who had been sexually assaulted who also had a slicing injury on her left hand. Officers learned that the woman had been in the area of the Midvale Cemetery when a man drove by her about three times before stopping. The man, Davis, asked her if she wanted a ride and she got in the car “to cruise,” according to a police affidavit.

After driving to several locations, Davis took the woman to his apartment in Murray. Once inside the apartment, he started to perform a sex act, according to the affidavit.

“Are you serious right now?” the woman told Davis as she prepared to leave.

That’s when Davis grabbed a knife and told her, ‘You’re going to do it whether you like it or not,'” the affidavit states.

The woman attempted to grab the knife but was cut, causing the injury to her hand. Police say Davis then held the knife to the woman’s neck as he sexually assaulted her.

The woman was eventually able to run from the apartment. She described to police in detail what the inside of Davis’ apartment looked like, particularly his “large collection of ‘Star Wars’ memorabilia, including a large Yoda figurine,” the affidavit says.

When detectives interviewed Davis he denied knowing the woman. But when officers served a search warrant on his apartment, “the interior of the apartment appeared as (the woman) had described, including the ‘Star Wars’ memorabilia,” according to the report.

Police also noted in the affidavit that Davis has a “self-admitted pattern of picking up homeless females and taking them to his home.”

Murray police spokeswoman Kristin Reardon said Wednesday that detectives were still working the case and that “there are at least two known victims at this point.” Anyone who may have information about Davis or anyone similarly victimized is asked to contact Murray police.

“Robert clearly poses a substantial danger to the public and the community where he resides,” police wrote in the affidavit.

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