Jurors will hear a Paine College rape suspect’s statements to detectives and details of escalating violent acts against women, a judge ruled Thursday.
Jairus R. Dantzler, 19, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to multiple criminal charges filed in connection with attacks on three women within a five-month period.
Thursday, Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet ruled the prosecutor may present as evidence the statements Dantzler made after his March 7, 2013, arrest, and evidence of all three cases at any single trial. Dantzler was indicted on three separate indictments.
Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers said the attacks began on Nov. 18, 2012. A Paine College student was in bed in her dorm room when she felt someone climb on top of her. The assailant was wearing a ski mask. The man pulled down his pants, exposing himself, and began fighting with the victim as she screamed and fought back, Myers said.
Dantzler told investigators that he went to the college to play basketball and somehow ended up in a dorm room, sitting on the edge of a bed where a woman attacked him, Myers said.
On Feb. 6, 2013, a neighbor of Dantzler’s was sleeping in her bed with her 5-year-old by her side when she felt a heavy presence on the bed, Myers said. A man grabbed her in a choke hold. He had a knife. The woman fought the assailant and broke free long enough to grab her child and flee to the far side of the room. The man demanded money and when she said she didn’t have any, he said “you are going to give me something” while staring at the lower portion of her body, Myers said. He threatened to kill the child unless she complied. She talked him into taking her ATM card and code, Myers said.
Dantzler told investigators that he broke into the house by cutting a window screen. He said he wanted to rob someone. Dentzler admitted he hit the woman in the eye while holding a knife but denied getting on the bed, Myers said.
On March 7, 2013, another Paine College student was grabbed after getting out of the shower in her dorm. The assailant raped her as he repeatedly hit her in the head and threatened to kill her if she screamed, Myers said.
Dantzler told investigators that he was angry that morning. He said it was “technically” rape because the woman said “stop,” Myers said.
Motions are still pending over the admissibility of DNA evidence and Dantzler’s statement regarding the third attack. Dantzler has been held without bond since his arrest.