Knoxville man arrested for multiple crimes in Sevier County

AthaA Knoxville man is now in police custody and facing a litany of charges that may result in lengthy prison sentences after he allegedly committed three armed robberies, multiple kidnappings and multiple sexual assaults.

According to Sevier County Sheriff Ron Seals, Jonathan Michael Atha, 27, entered Sunset Cottage Rentals on River Road on Tuesday where he pulled a handgun and demanded cash. Two female employees reportedly turned the cash boxes over to Atha. The suspect ordered the two women into a back room where he ordered them to disrobe. A third person entered the office and unwittingly interrupted the robbery. Atha reportedly ordered the third victim into the back room at gunpoint and fled the scene.

Atha fled across the Food City parking lot where he was caught on video surveillance. Atha entered Willow Massage Therapy located at 10339 Chapman Hwy in Seymour at 11:47 a.m. where he reportedly brandished a black handgun and ordered two employees to open the cash box and give him the money. He then ordered the two women to the bathroom and made them disrobe. Atha fled the building with an undisclosed amount of cash.

According to reports, Atha sexually assaulted a Knoxville woman at a self-storage facility on Central Avenue late Tuesday night around midnight. Atha approached the woman who was packing up boxes at the unit and brandished a gun. He allegedly forced her into a unit where he raped her, stole her money and took her car.

Atha was arrested Thursday after police received a tip he was hiding in a residence on Crestview Street. Officers entered the home and found Atha hiding in a bedroom. Atha surrendered without incident.

The investigation is continuing and Atha may face multiple counts kidnapping, armed robbery and sexual assault.

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