Georgia Superior Court Senior Judge Shepherd L. Howell on Tuesday denied bond for an Acworth man who stands accused of several felonies, including rape, kidnapping and aggravated assault.
Rusty Lee Akers, described by his defense attorney as a former Woodland High School student, was arrested July 10. He has yet to be indicted by a grand jury, but according to Bartow County Sheriff's Office data, he has been charged with kidnapping, kidnapping a minor, false imprisonment (victim is less than 14-years-old and not the offender's child), two counts of aggravated assault (including one count of aggravated assault — strangulation), family violence battery (a first offense misdemeanor) and strongarm rape.
According to Cherokee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Jana W. Allen, the incident occurred sometime in late April or early May.
"One of the victims is a 4-year-old little girl, it's the daughter of the defendant's ex-girlfriend, who is the primary victim. She's about 31 years old," Allen said.
Allen said Akers, at the time, was living in a tent in the woods near Cox Farm Road in Acworth.
"She alleges that he then forced her and the daughter into the tent and kept them there for over a day," Allen said. "During that time, the allegation is that he repeatedly raped her, put a knife to her, refused to let them go, beat her — she had some pretty significant bruising all over her body, marks on her neck, she made allegations of strangling."
Allen said the victim grabbed the knife after the defendant allegedly dropped it and used it to cut a hole in the back of the tent so she and her daughter could escape. The victim then came into contact with some passersby at a Dollar General, who helped her and the child get a ride back to her home.
Allen said the victim initially made a report to authorities in Cherokee County.
"Because the incident happened in Bartow, there was a disconnect," she said. "Then Bartow finally picked it up and made the investigation."
Warrants for Akers' arrest, she said, were taken out in late June.
"What happened in the interim is that on June 12, the defendant was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana," Allen said. "So the drug offense postdated the serious charges, and although he was out on bond at the time he was arrested for the serious charges, they did not occur while he was out on bond."
While in jail on the drug charges, Allen said Akers contacted the victim at least once.
"I guess it was a free call, and when she picked up the phone — all of this was recorded — she was like, 'Why are you calling me after you tried to kill me?'" she said. "She's screaming at him and you can hear him just saying 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry.'"
Judge Howell agreed with Allen's assertion that Akers still poses "a very serious danger" to the victim.
"This sounds like a serious matter," he said. "Of course, if it's not indicted within the appropriate time period, [the defendant] would have the right to make another request."