Maurice Burton Wells

A man who police said had been terrorizing a female store clerk in Salt Lake City, including sexually assaulting her while she held her baby in her arms, was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court.

Maurice Burton Wells, 68, was charged with two counts of forcible sexual abuse, both second-degree felonies, and simple assault, a class B misdemeanor. Wells posted bail Wednesday.

Three times since Nov. 30, Wells allegedly walked into a business on State Street in Salt Lake City and assaulted the female clerk, said Salt Lake City police detective Jeff Bedard. Police did not want to reveal the name of the business to protect the clerk.

On Nov. 30, a man entered the store and, while the woman was holding her baby, "pinned her up against the counter," according to a Salt Lake City Jail report. He then inappropriately touched the woman in several areas, both under and over her clothing, the report stated.

The man returned two more times, on Dec. 12 and 13, Bedard said. On one of those days he sexually assaulted the woman again, and on the other day grabbed a box of nutcrackers from the shelves of the store and threw them at her, he said.

After the man left, the woman got up the courage to follow him and write down his license plate number, Bedard said.

"She was extremely brave," he said.

Investigators had been looking for the man since the first attack but were unable to track anyone down, Bedard said. After receiving the license plate number, investigators found the suspect at his home in Sandy. They went to his home Monday, he answered the door and was placed under arrest, Bedard said.

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