Accused Athens rapist was out on bail

ATHENS, Ga. -- A Clarke County grand jury has charged a homeless man with raping a woman in 2009 and another woman last month while he was out on bail from the previous crime.

 

Avery Christopher Bradford was in jail for more than a year without an indictment on the first rape charge.

But Tuesday, a little more than two weeks after police say Bradford raped again Nov. 28, the district attorney brought both assaults to the grand jury.

Bradford, 46, is accused in an indictment of nine felonies for the pair of attacks - three counts of rape, three counts of aggravated sodomy, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated sexual battery.

Athens-Clarke police arrested Bradford in July 2009 after they say he assaulted a homeless woman under a bridge in East Athens. He was held without bail for more than a year, until Aug. 25, when Chief Judge Lawton Stephens ordered him released on his own recognizance.

District Attorney Ken Mauldin hadn't brought the 2009 rape case to a grand jury by then because, he said in a Dec. 3 interview, the investigation was hampered when authorities were unable to find the homeless rape victim.

Bradford's attorney successfully argued for a series of bail reductions, and prosecutors eventually agreed to let the suspect out of jail for free but with restrictions, including he stay at his father's home in Crawford and not return to Clarke County.

But Bradford did return to the county.

On Nov. 28, Athens-Clarke police arrested him after a 31-year-old Athens woman reported that Bradford assaulted her at a home on Honeysuckle Lane off West Broad Street. He raped and sodomized the woman, and choked and beat her unconscious, police said.

The indictment alleges that he raped her twice.

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