The Danforth Primary School teacher raped in 2001 testified this morning that she began a fight for her life when a man entered her portable classroom.
The veteran teacher said she had just finished teaching her last class when she heard a noise. She looked down a hallway to a bathroom in the trailer and didn't see anything awry. But soon after returning to her desk she heard another noise.
That's when she saw a man with a white bandana or hankerchief on his face who was wearing a sweatshirt she'd left outside discharging a fire extinguisher at her.
The teacher told the jury the man started beating her, forcing her to the floor as he threatened her life.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
She said she fought with the man, holding onto his hair.
At one point, the teacher said the man stripped her from the waist down.
"I have no memory after that point," the teacher said.
The next thing she remembered was standing in the doorway of another teacher's classroom asking for help.
Joshua Johnny Blash, 24, is on trial for raping and sodomizing the teacher.
DNA from the hair the teacher clung to during the assault is a cornerstone of the prosecution's case against Blash.
He became a suspect in late 2006 after his DNA was entered into a state database and matched samples taken after the teacher's rape. Blash had been sent to prison for unrelated offenses, and his DNA was submitted into a statewide database.
In late 2006, authorities discovered that his DNA matched the DNA in the hair taken from the teacher's classroom, said Assistant District Attorney Nancy Scott Malcor.
When they learned of the match, Macon police officers recalled another similar sexual assault that happened Aug. 4, 2001.
A woman was sitting in her living room on Boulevard when she heard a noise on her screen porch, Malcor said. A man was tearing at the screen and reaching to unlock the door. The man punched the woman in the face, struggled with her and threatened to rape and kill her.
He sodomized her before a neighbor interrupted the attack, Malcor said.
When police found out about the DNA match in the teacher's case, officers showed the woman from Boulevard a photo lineup that included Blash's photo.
She picked out the photo of Blash as her attacker, Malcor said.
Speaking to the jury Wednesday, Blash's appointed attorney Jonathan Waters, said there's more to the story of the two sexual assaults.
Waters said the teacher was interviewed by police twice after the attack and never said she grabbed her attacker's hair. Police didn't recover any semen, and there were no fingerprints in the teacher's classroom, he said.
Blash lived in the neighborhood behind the school, Waters said, and often he would hang out on the classroom's steps with friends.
As for the August 2001 assault, Waters said the woman didn't pick out Blash as her attacker in a photo lineup one month after the incident. When she did pick him out several years later, he didn't look the same as he did at the time of the attack, Waters said.
Blash was indicted by a Bibb County grand jury in September on charges of rape, two counts of aggravated sodomy, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of burglary, according to court documents.
He is serving an eight-year sentence for aggravated assault on a peace officer, entering a vehicle and burglary in Bibb County, according to Georgia Department of Corrections records. He is tentatively scheduled for parole in July 2010.
For more information, come back to macon.com or read Friday's Telegraph.