Man held accused rapist at bay
Jurors deliberated for about an hour Tuesday before finding a Fort Valley man guilty of a bevy of crimes related to a string of home invasions and attacks on women near Fort Valley State University in April 2015.
Darrell Aundray Ross, 31, was found guilty of two counts of rape, four counts of home invasion, two counts of armed robbery, three counts of false imprisonment and single counts of aggravated sexual battery, burglary, theft, aggravated assault, kidnapping, criminal attempt to commit rape, criminal trespass and possession of tools to commit a crime.
Ross will be sentenced at a later date.
Ross was arrested May 16, 2015, after a woman and her boyfriend spotted him in the woods behind a Fort Valley apartment complex. The boyfriend held Ross at the scene until police arrived.
Since Ross’ trial began last week in Peach County Superior Court, jurors have heard testimony from two women who said they were raped, a woman who said a man tried to rape her and another woman who was attacked.
In her closing argument Tuesday, prosecutor Elizabeth Bobbitt told jurors Ross had “a rapist’s toolkit” in his pockets when he was arrested — a stun gun, handcuffs, condoms, a flashlight, a homemade sex toy and a cellphone with nude pictures of two of his victims.
A woman testified Tuesday morning that she was showering before going to bed in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday 2015 when she heard a noise.
Wrapping a towel around herself, she got out of the shower to investigate and spotted a man standing in her open back door. He had a gun, she testified.
“It hadn’t registered in my mind what was happening or what was about to occur,” the woman said.
She said she asked the man what he was doing and he told her to “shut up” and go to her bedroom.
Still wearing a black bandana on his face, the man raped her as he held a gun in his hand, the woman testified.
Then he forced her to sit on her bedroom floor, naked, as he took photos with his cellphone, she said.
None of the women have identified Ross as being their attacker, Peach County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Don Edwards testified Tuesday.
Edwards said a selfie photo of Ross was taken March 26, 2015, on the same phone where investigators found nude photos had been taken of two alleged victims.
Another photo — depicting a carpet shampoo bottle — was taken in the apartment of another woman who was attacked, he said. Bobbitt said a carpet cleaner, laptop and cellphone taken from that woman’s home were found at Ross’ home after his arrest.
While Ross’ attorney, Alan Wheeler, contends digital data pertaining to the device that took the photos and the date of the photos can be altered. Bobbitt said the information can’t be changed.
Wheeler said his client has pleaded not guilty and “he did not touch those women.”
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.