“We’re going to help you out with that”: Judge reduces bond of suspect in sexual assault
CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings talked with WBTV about the decision to lower Wilson’s bond.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Johnny Jennings says he was “astounded” after news of a judge lowered the bond for a suspect in a heinous sexual assault case.
Last weekend, CMPD arrested Octavis Wilson hours after he’s accused of brutally attacking and sexually assaulted a woman walking along Glenwood Drive from Tuckaseegee Road in Charlotte.
During a hearing Tuesday, Mecklenburg County Judge Tracy Hewett reduced Wilson’s bond from $2,000,000 to $50,000.
“I will not mess up no more,” Wilson told Hewett.
‘We’re going to help you out with that okay. Right now it’s at $2 million dollar bond. We’ll make it a $50,000 secured bond,” Hewett responded.
CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings responded on Twitter to news of Wilson’s lower bond.
In an interview with WBTV, Jennings reiterated his frustration.
“There’s really no reason to believe that this individual is going to get out and behave as he put it and he’s not going to offend. My frustration is that the effort we have to put in to investigate these cases, arrest them and keeping people safe in our community it’s going to be cyclical because we’re allowing him to to continue to get back out and prey on our citizens.”
According to court documents, Wilson -- who has been accused of multiple rapes in prior years -- approached the woman as she got off a bus. Documents state he offered the woman $20 in exchange for sex.
“After the victim refused, the defendant began grabbing at the victim. After the victim pushed the defendant away from her, the defendant began striking the victim in the face. The defendant proceeded to grab the victim by the hair and pulled her into a nearby port-a-john where he raped her. Surveillance footage froma nearby business captured this incident,” court documents said.
Wilson told detectives, according to the document, the victim “offered” to have sex with him.
“How do you think the victim in this case feels? When you see what she’s going through, what she’s had to endure and the fact she see’s some closure because we did make an arrest only to see a judge say,’We’re going to help you out,’ and lower bond to $50,000. What message does that send?”
Jennings says there should be accountability on every level.
“Why is it we’ve charged someone for a violent crime, you see their history and they have multiple violent crimes and you wonder how they’re out in the first place.”
Jennings says he thinks change starts with legislation.
“I think it has to be through legislation. There’s some things I’m looking at, working with some good people saying, ‘what we need to put on the table?’ You know, I don’t have all the answers myself. But, if we collectively come together and say, ‘what do we need to put on the table for our lawmakers to make this better.’”
Chief Jennings continued to express in the thread on Twitter, “We continue to ask our judicial partners to take these crimes just as serious as we do. There’s no bond amount that is sufficient for a community’s peace of mind regarding their safety.”
In a statement to WBTV addressing the general concerns of the residents of the community, Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office said, “We are ethically prohibited from speaking about pending cases. Generally speaking, our consistent ask of all judicial officials is for them to meet [the] community’s expectations and ensure that people charged with violent crimes are held in custody as they await trial.”
As of Thursday night, Wilson remains in the Mecklenburg County Jail.
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