Crime

Man arrested in Fort Valley trespass being investigated in connection to sexual assaults

Fort Valley police arrested a man about midnight Saturday who matches the description of the suspect in April break-ins and sexual assaults.

Authorities have not charged the man with those crimes but are investigating him for them, a Fort Valley Department of Public Safety news release states.

Darrell Ross, 25, of Fort Valley was charged with criminal trespass, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, possession of fire arm during the commission or attempt to commit a crime and prowling, the release stated.

He is being held without bond in the Peach County jail for a probation violation from a previous unrelated burglary conviction.

“The Peach County Sexual Assault task force will be investigating the possibility of pending charges for rape, burglary, kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and aggravated assault inside the city limits of Fort Valley and unincorporated Peach County,” the release stated.

In early April, five homes were broken into, two women were raped and three struggled with a suspect before he took off. In late April, there was one attempted rape, one rape and five break-ins all within three days.

The Peach County Sexual Assault task force comprises the Fort Valley Police Department, Peach County Sheriff’s Office, the GBI and the Fort Valley State University Campus Police Department.

Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese said the investigation was ongoing but that the work had already begun.

“We did a search of Ross’ person and search warrant of his residence,” Deese said, adding that any potential evidence had been taken in for comparison to existing cases. “It’s just a matter now of waiting to see what matches.”

When reached for comment Sunday, J.T. Ricketson with the GBI said that effort would continue Monday.

“We’ll be meeting in the morning ... to see if we can charge or make any connections,” Ricketson said.

Police Chief Lawrence Spurgeon declined comment outside of the news release, which was also posted to the agency’s Facebook page.

Ross was arrested after police were dispatched to 211 Person Street in Fort Valley after a homeowner called 911 about a man outside his window in the backyard.

Anyone with information related to these crimes is asked to contact Fort Valley police at 478-825-3384 or the Peach County Sheriff’s Office at 478-825-8269.

Telegraph writer Jeremy Timmerman contributed to this report, and information from the Telegraph archives was used. To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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