Augusta man pleads to reduced charges in gang rape case

One of four young men accused of raping two women pleaded guilty to reduced charges Monday instead of facing a jury.

 

Devonta L. Kitchens, 19, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to criminal attempt to commit rape, criminal attempt to commit aggravated sodomy, armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and two counts of false imprisonment.

Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. accepted the plea negotiated sentenced of 15 years in prison followed by 20 years on probation.

On Aug. 15, 2015, Kitchens and three other young men lured the women to Augusta by responding to an online ad. A date was made for the two women to have sex with whom they believed was one man, said Assistant District Attorney Audrey Lewis.

When the women arrived at the pre-arranged location, they were met by the armed defendants, Lewis said. They positively identified Kitchen as having a gun. The women were separated and sexually assaulted by each defendant, she said. The ordeal ended only when one of the victim began crying and when asked why, she said she thought she was going to die, Lewis said.

Defense attorney David Ghazi downplayed the seriousness of the incident. He pointed to kitchens’ young age at the time, 17, and the two years he has spent in jail awaiting trial.

Blanchard commented that attempted rape and aggravated sodomy and armed robbery were all violent crimes. Prostitutes can be raped the same as anyone else, he added.

The other defendants in the case who have pleaded not guilty are Jahmal A. Hamm, 20, Curtis D. Jordan, 21, and Maxene Saintal Jr., 18.

Reach Sandy Hodson at sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com or (706) 823-3226

 

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