The number of UGA students alleging they were preyed upon sexually by an Athens man who may have drugged them is growing.
The case against Andre Montez Jones, 27, began in December, when an 18-year-old UGA student ran bloodied and shirtless from Jones’ apartment, seeking help after he allegedly woke up in Jones’ apartment to find himself being sexually assaulted by his supposed friend, who then allegedly physically beat him.
Athens-Clarke County police arrested Jones on battery and aggravated sodomy by force charges. While Jones was free on a $10,000 bond, he was arrested a second time in February, on similar allegations made by another UGA student.
A third student came forward last month and spoke with a Sex Crimes Unit investigator, but did not want to file an official police report for fear of his identity becoming public.
Then a fourth UGA student came forward this past Wednesday, alleging Jones forcibly sodomized him. That 22-year-old did file a police report.
“As you can see this case is very fluid because additional victims have come forward,” said Lt. Jeff Clark, commanding officer of the Sex Crimes Unit. Still more potential victims are thought to possibly out there, he said.
There is no rush to charge Jones for the most recently reported alleged assault, as he is not going anywhere anytime soon. He’s been locked up at the Clarke County Jail since his second arrest, having been denied bail.
“This case is unique because the suspect has been charged and in custody,” Clarke said. “As a result, we are communicating closely with the District Attorney Office to determined the appropriate course of action regarding the additional charges.”
Police have stopped short of alleging Jones to be a sexual predator, but they said there are striking similarities between all of the allegations.
“All statements appear to be consistent with one another,” said Clark, referring to what all four UGA students had to say about their encounters with Jones.
Police have not disclosed details concerning any of the alleged assault, except for the first one because of unusual circumstance surrounding it. Allegations concerning that assault were written up in general terms by a patrol officer who met with the victim downtown, where he was pleading for help. There are no incident reports for the other alleged assaults, as the allegations were made by students during interviews with detectives.
Here is what is known based on information the patrol officer obtained from the first victim and wrote it up in an incident report:
Early the morning of Dec. 15, a shirtless 18-year-old UGA student with a bloody nose and other injuries was seen wandering around downtown, asking people to call police. He later told police he was physically assaulted by Jones at the suspect’s home at Whistlebury Walk apartments on Willow Street.
He said he completed taking a final exam the night before when he accepted Jones’ invitation to come over and watch a Netflix movie, police said.
After Jones allegedly gave the student a beer that was already opened, police said the next thing the student knew was he was naked in bed with Jones attempting to have oral sex with him.
After telling Jones he was not gay and “didn’t do things like that,” the student related to police he got dressed and tried taking his phone from the suspect, at which time Jones allegedly started attacking him. Unable to enlist the help of Jones’ roommate, police said the student ran from the apartment and knocked on neighbors’ doors but still could not find any help. That is when he ran downtown where he found someone to call 911.
Police said when they met with the student at a downtown intersection, he was not wearing a shirt, had a bloody nose, swollen eye and numerous scratches on his neck, face and elsewhere on his body.
He requested an ambulance because he felt like he might have a concussion, police said, and was subsequently taken to St. Mary’s Hospital.
A different officer went to Jones’ apartment and interviewed the suspect, and the investigation was later turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division, police said.
Jones was subsequently arrested on charges of aggravated sodomy with force and battery.
On the sodomy charge, according to the arrest warrant, the victim was said to be “intoxicated and unable to give consent.”
Jones allegedly committed battery by “hitting (the victim) in the face and leaving scratches on his neck when the victim tried to stop him from performing oral sex…,” according to the warrant.
The first indication there might be other possible victims came on Dec. 16, when OnlineAthens reported Jones’ arrest.
In the reader comments section of OnlineAthens, someone calling themselves Long Arm of the Law posted:
“Yay! A friend of mine reported this menace a couple years ago but was so badly drugged that no one paid attention to him. When ACC police stopped to help him in a similar circumstance, Jones was released while my friend was taken into jail for underage possession. I wish there was a way to increase this guy’s sentence because he’s caused a lot of harm around Athens. I also hope that ACC will pay further attention to their victims and not lock away college students who were just assaulted.”
The student who came forward on Wednesday told police he was allegedly assaulted by Jones in 2013.
If anyone believes themselves to have been victimized by Jones, police are urging you to contact Det. Shannon Parker at (706) 613-3888, ext. 783, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone else who has been sexually assaulted or knows someone who has can contact The Cottage Sexual Assault Center and Children’s Advocacy Center. The agency provides a range of free services to child and adult students of sexual and physical abuse, including medical accompaniment, advocacy, referrals, counseling and support groups. The Cottage also maintains a 24-hour crisis and information hotline, at (877) 363-1912.
For UGA students who affected by relationship and sexual violence, the University Health Center’s Relationship & Sexual Violence Prevention program provides crisis intervention and support, safety planning, medical and legal accompaniment, as well as academic and housing accommodations. Call (706) 542-8690 or visit www.uhs.uga.edu/rsvp for more information.