A 51-year-old Alabama man was charged with rape and sodomy of an Auburn student while on a moving bus. The bus’s driver was also charged.
According to authorities, the rape that occurred Friday came to light when the alleged rapist Tony Martin Patillo was spotted exposing himself inappropriately to a woman on a sidewalk. A passerby called the cops that led to the arrest of the accused, Fox News reported. The rape victim was identified as an 18-year-old student of Auburn University who boarded the bus and found herself alone with Patillo, and his partner in crime, 32-year-old James Johnson Jr.
“The caller advised that they observed a male subject standing over a female subject who was laying on the ground, and he apparently had his pants down,” Assistant Chief William Mathews reportedly said.
Police have charged the men with first-degree rape and sodomy, after reviewing the camera footage from the bus. According to a CBS-affiliate WKRG-TV, Patillo had forced the Auburn student to the rear of the bus to assault her after Johnson, who was driving the bus, turned the lights off to facilitate the crime. Later, Johnson signaled Patillo about approaching a pickup point for another student by switching the lights on.
Per reports, the Auburn victim was described as “incapacitated” and unable to resist rape. Patillo got off the bus with the student and was later spotted.
“While on the bus, she was sexually assaulted by Patillo, an employee of First Transit. The investigation further determined that Johnson, who was driving the bus, engaged in actions to perpetuate the crime while Patillo was in the rear of the bus assaulting the victim,” Mathews further said.
Both men, employees of First Transit, a shuttle service provider for Auburn University, have been fired and arrested. Johnson reportedly posted his bond of $ 125,000 while Patillo continues to remain lodged in Lee County Jail against a bond of $ 127,000, the university’s student newspaper The Plainsman reports. The university has said it is evaluating its deal with First Transit after Friday’s incident.
The rape has sent left the students concerned about their security on the Auburn University campus. Some wondered why an alert was not issued soon after the incident, like what was done after a sexual assault was reported in earlier in July. The university maintained that the alert was not issued as no threat was perceived to the university or the student community.
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