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WEST VALLEY CITY — A man with a history of sexual abuse has been arrested for investigation of 70 potential criminal charges after police say he tried to sexually extort a woman for over a year.
Michael Layne Andersen, 27, of Ogden, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Tuesday for investigation of stalking, distribution of an intimate image, six counts of aggravated sexual extortion of an adult, and 62 counts of electronic communication harassment.
The investigation began in December of 2020, when a woman reported to police that she had received several nude pictures of herself from an unknown number with messages stating, "Your pics are about to be posted everywhere" and "I will tell you everything if you send more pictures of you," according to a police booking affidavit.
For over a year, the woman received more calls, texts and picture messages from unknown numbers, the affidavit states.
"Several of these calls and texts where done in the middle of the night and while she was at work. (She) advised when she would block a number, a new phone number would be used to contact her. This has caused severe emotional harm," the affidavit says.
Detectives determined the person sending the messages was using Pinger, an app "that is used to change your phone number and communicate with people via the internet," the affidavit states. After serving a couple of search warrants on Pinger and Google, police identified Andersen as the name tied to the accounts, according to the affidavit.
The woman told police that Andersen is a friend of her ex-boyfriend.
"Further research into Michael's criminal history and reports from other agencies showed Michael had been charged and convicted of sexual battery in Ogden in November of 2021. Michael also had a case with him listed as the suspect out of Grantsville. After further reviewing the case, the reports showed he had been accused of meeting more than 20 women on Snapchat and sexually extorting them," the affidavit states.
Andersen was convicted of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor, on Jan. 4, for grabbing a woman inappropriately, according to court records. He is scheduled to be sentenced in that case next week. Formal charges in the Grantsville investigation had not been filed as of Wednesday.
On Tuesday, police questioned Andersen and arrested him in connection with the extortion case.