published Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Woman raped on morning jog in Chattanooga recounts details in hearing

A 30-year-old woman, sitting less than 10 feet away from the man accused of raping her, recounted in court Tuesday traumatic details of the attack.

After hearing testimony, General Sessions Court Judge Christie Mahn Sell sent a charge of aggravated rape against Devontavious Bryant, 18, to the grand jury in connection with the Oct. 12 assault. Bryant's co-defendant, a 16-year-old black male, is scheduled for a hearing in Hamilton County Juvenile Court on Dec. 14 to see if he'll be tried as an adult.

The woman, whose name is withheld under Times Free Press policy on sex crime victims, told Sell that the 16-year-old grabbed her from behind as she was on an early morning run along Reggie White Boulevard near Finley Stadium. He demanded her phone and money, but all she had was a music player, which she handed over.

The woman began to run and Bryant grabbed her and choked her until she passed out, she said.

She awoke in a grassy, landscaped area near the stadium with the 16-year-old standing above her. He asked what she would do for her life, the woman said.

He said she would either perform oral sex on both males or take her clothes off and let them have sex with her. She said no, cried and curled into a ball.

The 16-year-old pulled her spandex pants down and began to rape her. A few minutes later she heard a ripping noise and looked up to see Bryant atop her as he raped her, she testified.

When Bryant finished, she said, the pair left. She took her pants and shoes, redressed and flagged down a nearby car, whose driver took her to get help.

Police reviewed video footage and found suspects who matched the description the woman provided. They found a cell phone and two condom wrappers at the crime scene.

The wrappers were Durex and Lifestyles condom brands. Police found condoms of the same brands in Bryant's room later in the investigation.

Police officers told Investigator Daniel Francis that they had seen two teens at City Cafe about two hours before the reported rape.

Francis said when officers went to Bryant's home, he tried to close the door in their face. When Francis told his mother what the teen was being arrested for, she said, "The last time they arrested him for this they brought him back the same day."

Francis told Sell in Tuesday's hearing that Bryant said he did ride his bicycle in the area but he had nothing to do with the rape. When the investigator asked if the victim saw his face he said, "I hope not" then said "I mean she couldn't have, I wasn't there."

The juvenile told police he was involved in the robbery but didn't rape the woman.

The woman said she saw both of the teens' faces and identified them in about a minute while looking at a photo lineup shown to her by police.

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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