Woman, 18, accuses Augusta lawyer Joseph Neal Jr. of rape

Richmond County authorities also called to domestic dispute
Neal

 

Richmond County authorities said Friday they are investigating a rape accusation against Augusta lawyer Jo­seph Neal Jr.

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles said no charges have been filed against Neal as the investigation continues.

An 18-year-old woman told police that on Dec. 16, Neal, 43, who is also the president of the Summerville Neighborhood Association, gave her four to five alcoholic drinks and marijuana before he had “carnal knowledge of her without her consent and against her will” at his Kings Way home, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.

On Dec. 21, one day after the woman reported the incident, authorities were called to Neal’s home in reference to a domestic dispute.

According to an incident report, Neal and his 23-year-old wife, Caroline, were arguing when she accidentally shut the door on his head.

Police said the argument then escalated and she repeatedly hit and scratched her husband in front of his 13-year-old son.

She was taken to Trinity Hospital by ambulance to be treated for two deep leg cuts she sustained during the argument, the report stated. Joseph Neal told officers the cuts were a result of her kicking a glass front door.

The lawyer suffered cuts to his back and arm but did not require treatment.

Caroline Neal, who refused to give a statement, police said, was charged with simple battery and booked into the Richmond County jail after her release from the hospital.

Joseph Neal, an Augusta native, has practiced law for 18 years and has an office at 410 Telfair St. where he specializes in serious personal injury and wrongful death, according to his Web site.

The father of two has been instrumental in fighting crime in his Summerville neighborhood and helped start a text and e-mail alert program to notify neighbors of criminal activity.

A phone call to Joseph Neal seeking comment was not returned.

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