Originally created 08/13/02

Police identify rape suspect



North Augusta authorities have identified a man suspected in a late-night burglary and rape at a Georgetown Villas apartment.

Police are seeking 27-year-old Donta Latray Williams in connection with Monday night's home invasion in which the suspect forced his way into an apartment, tied up five people and raped an 18-year-old Martinez woman who was visiting.

Public Safety Detective Tim Thornton said Mr. Williams should be considered armed and dangerous. He was identified by the five victims after they looked at mug shots at the police department and picked him out.

The suspect, who was arrested in North Augusta in May on a traffic charge, is being sought on a warrant for burglary. Probable cause exists to charge him with criminal sexual conduct first-degree and five counts of kidnapping, Detective Thornton said.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the North Augusta Department of Public Safety at 279-2121.

Police had collected fingerprints from the apartment and said earlier today that they had good leads on a suspect.

The victims include three teenage girls - ages 17, 18 and 18 - and two men - ages 21 and 25. The victims were all friends. Only the 17- and 18-year-old women lived in the apartment.

Authorities gave the following account of what happened:

A man knocked on the door of an apartment Monday night and said he was looking for a friend. The residents told him he had the wrong house.

The man returned about 11:30 p.m. and knocked on the door again. When a resident opened the door, the man, armed with a gun and a knife, forced his way into the apartment. He then forced two of the victims to help him tie up their own friends using telephone cord, ribbon and wire.

The victims said the burglar threatened to cut off their hands with a butcher knife if they made noise, police said. As the man rummaged through the apartment, two more people knocked on the apartment door. The burglar answered and forced them inside, where he tied them up.

At some point, the burglar untied the 18-year-old who was visiting, took her to another room and raped her. The man then tied her up again, finished rummaging through the house and left with a small amount of money.

One of the victims was able to get loose and call police.

"They were instructed to stay still for a while, and that's what they did until they thought it was safe," Detective Thornton said.

The sexual assault victim was taken to Aiken Regional Medical Centers, where forensic evidence was collected.

Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (706) 828-3851 or greg.rickabaugh@augustachronicle.com.