LaFayette, Georgia, man convicted for 2017 rape of a 13-year-old girl

Charles James Spikes
photo Contributed photo from Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit / Charles James Spikes was convicted of rape and child molestation on Wednesday for his sexual assault on a 13-year-old girl in 2017.

A Walker County, Georgia, jury has convicted a LaFayette man of rape and child molestation for his 2017 sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl.

Charles James Spikes will have a sentencing hearing Dec. 7, according to a statement from Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Chris Arnt.

In May 2017, Spikes was living with his girlfriend and her teenage sons in an apartment complex in LaFayette. On the day of the rape, Arnt said a number of teens who lived in the apartment complex were hanging out in and around Spikes' apartment. Spikes and some of his friends were home at the time. At some point during the day, Arnt said the others left the apartment, leaving the victim alone with Spikes in the living room.

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A number of witnesses testified Spikes was being overly "touchy and handy" with the victim that day. A teenage friend of the victim testified she left the apartment after Spikes started touching her and put his hand on her thigh.

Once Spikes was alone with the victim, he pulled her into a bathroom, closed and locked the door. He then forced her to perform oral sex on him and raped her, according to Arnt.

The victim said she wasn't sure what Spikes was up to when he first pulled her into the bathroom because she and her family had trusted him up until then.

After the incident, the victim was interviewed by forensic interviewer Holly Kittle at the Children's Advocacy Center and gave graphic details about her rape. A recording of that interview was played for the jury, in addition to a statement from the victim's mother, who testified about the emotional devastation suffered by the victim. She told the jury Spikes took her daughter and she "never really came back," according to Arnt.

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She said the victim had gone from a happy, popular child and top athlete to only taking online classes, dropping out of all sports, abandoning her friendships and staying in her room all the time.

In addition to the statements, a specialized sexual assault examination was performed on the victim. During this exam, multiple vaginal abrasions were found. The results were consistent with the events described by the victim and were also consistent with sexual assault.

Arnt said Spikes was previously tried and convicted of rape in the same case in 2018. The case was appealed and the Georgia Court of Appeals reversed the case on a legal technicality, he said.

"I am glad the jury held this rapist accountable for the devastation he inflicted on the child victim. Hopefully, the fact that two juries have now heard and believed in the victim will help her begin the journey to get her life back," Arnt said in a statement.

The victim's mother said she was thankful to be able to finally have closure after 1,641 days.

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Contact Kelcey Caulder at kcaulder@timesfree or 423-757-6327. Follow her on Twitter @kelceycaulder.