Five women have come forward alleging that a former Bibb County deputy assaulted them and used his position to intimidate them not to report what had happened.
Jeffery Brian Prestridge, 34, was arrested Tuesday, charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery and false imprisonment.
He stood before a Bibb County Superior Court judge Wednesday morning for a bond hearing without a lawyer at his side.
Judge Howard Simms told Prestridge that he had the right to have an attorney and to remain silent.
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Prestridge stood silently while District Attorney David Cooke argued against his receiving a bond. Cooke said a woman Prestridge had dated contacted the sheriff's office's Internal Affairs department, alleging that he'd choked her, stepped on her hands, beat her with a wine bottle and kicked her.
One of the woman's ribs was fractured in the Oct. 30 confrontation, he said.
The woman contacted the sheriff's office Jan. 29, Sheriff David Davis said Wednesday afternoon.
Four other women have come forward, even though Prestridge told them that no one would believe them.
Cooke said the women have told authorities that Prestridge warned them he'd have his friends at the sheriff's office arrest them if they came to Bibb County or filed a report.
"He used his position as a cop to commit these acts," Cooke said.
One of the women reported that Prestridge had been violent toward her before his hiring, he said.
Most of the women don't know each other, but they all have told authorities similar stories, Cooke said.
The alleged crimes all occurred within the past year or so.
Asked by the judge about his plans for hiring a lawyer, Prestridge said he'd hoped to be released on bond and then to contact an attorney through the Police Benevolent Association.
He said he hadn't lived in Georgia long before being hired. He'd previously been in the Marine Corps.
Simms didn't grant bond during the brief hearing, but said he'd revisit the issue once Prestridge had a lawyer.
Davis said Prestige was hired at the former Macon Police Department in 2013, about six months before the two departments merged as part of Macon and Bibb County consolidation in 2014. Most recently, he'd worked as a patrol officer.
Prestridge was fired Tuesday after being found in violation of sheriff's office policies.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398 or find her on Twitter@awomackmacon.