North Augustan sentenced in MCG bathroom attack

Roger Bettis attacked a 63-year-old woman in a bathroom at Medical College of Georgia Hospital on June 3, 2009.

A relative of a 63-year-old woman who was violently assaulted in a bathroom at Medical College of Georgia Hospital last year said her family will sleep easier knowing that the attacker has been sent to prison for nearly 100 years.

 

Judge Carl Brown sentenced Roger A. Bettis to 95 years -- the maximum on all counts -- after a jury returned guilty verdicts against him Tuesday night. He had been charged with aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit rape and kidnapping, and weapons charges.

"We are very satisfied with the sentence, the jurors, the DA and everything," the relative said.

The decision follows two days of often grotesque testimony, in which Assistant District Attorney Adam King described Bettis as a man who stalked, assaulted and attempted to rape the victim because she was "the weakest, most innocent person he could find to have his way with."

The victim was already fearful of the fourth-floor MCG bathroom when she entered it at 8:40 p.m. June 3, 2009. She looked under the stalls to make sure no one else was in the room. Seconds later, she heard someone enter the stall next to her and saw a large pair of tennis shoes appear underneath the divider. She turned away, then looked back to see the shoes were gone.

"I didn't see anything, no feet, and I just panicked," the victim testified Monday. "I knew something was wrong."

Bettis jumped over the top of the stall, she screamed and he choked her. She passed out, but came to, so he punched her unconscious again.

A witness, Tammi Kates, interrupted the assault and was held at knife-point until Bettis could flee. Bettis had removed the victim's pants and his own.

Jurors heard from Bettis and his mother, Linda Bettis, during testimony Tuesday. Both denied that Bettis was involved in the attack. His mother, however, had previously told investigators that her son admitted to her he was at MCG during the time of the attack, King said.

Bettis was arrested several days later when he fled from police and crashed a stolen car into the Budget Inn on Broad Street. He was being pursued in connection with a gas station robbery.

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