MAN PLEADS GUILTY 29 YEARS AFTER SEXUAL ASSAULT OF TEENAGE GIRL
Monday, October 16, 2023
Perpetrator of 1994 Attack Identified Through Efforts of Sexual Assault Task Force
Decatur, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by guilty plea in the sexual assault cold case against Charlie Scott, 59.
In a hearing Thursday, October 12 Scott pleaded guilty as indicted to charges of Rape, Kidnapping and Aggravated Assault in connection with the assault of a 15-year-old female victim walking near her home 29 years ago.
The incident occurred on August 6, 1994 at the Colony Ridge Apartment complex on Glenwood Road in unincorporated Decatur.
The victim, who was walking home after helping her mother at work, was approached by Defendant Scott. He pointed a pistol at her, racked the gun and threatened to kill her if she screamed. Defendant Scott then forced the victim into the bushes and raped her. Before fleeing, he said that he would come back and kill her if she told anyone.
An eyewitness at the complex saw a male coming out of the area fixing his pants, then saw the victim screaming and crying that she had been raped. The witness took the victim to a nearby apartment to contact authorities.
The case sat cold until March 2020 when DNA from the sexual assault kit that was collected at the time of the crime was tested through the work of the Georgia Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (GASAKI) Task Force with assistance from the DeKalb County Police Department. Scott was identified as a suspect following a positive DNA match. Defendant Scott was confirmed as a match when his DNA was collected after his arrest in April 2022. Investigators also linked him to sexual assaults of several other victims in DeKalb County during the same time period.
According to the investigation, Scott was on the run at the time of the assault at the Colony Ridge Apartment complex. In 1995, he was featured on an episode of America’s Most Wanted as a suspect in a series of sexual assaults and had escaped custody several times across three states.
Defendant Scott was finally apprehended in California in 1995 and brought to justice in the military court system for crimes committed in Alabama, Georgia, and Texas, including several counts of Rape, Escape from Confinement, Robbery, and Kidnapping, among other charges. He was found guilty and sentenced to a term of 40 years. Scott was released in 2020 after serving 28 years in confinement.
After his release from federal custody, Defendant Scott became a truck driver. During a stop at a weigh station in Missouri in March 2021, his DeKalb County warrants popped up. Scott was taken into custody and was transferred to DeKalb County in April 2021. He was indicted by a Grand Jury on May 7, 2021.
Following his non-negotiated guilty plea, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Shondeana C. Morris sentenced Defendant Scott to life to serve 15 years in custody with the remainder of his life on probation.
Upon his release from custody, Scott must comply with the special conditions of sex offender probation. Scott may not have any contact with minor children, or with any named victim or victim in a previous case.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Agatha Romanowski, with assistance from Senior ADA Joya Fortson, DA/SAKI Investigator Crispin Henry, and Victim Advocate Julie Varnado. Sergeant Gary Cortellino and Detective G. Horner, who are both retired from the DeKalb County Police Department, handled the initial investigation in 1994.
About the Georgia Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Task Force (GASAKI)
The GASAKI Task Force was created in partnership with the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) in 2018 as part of a multi-year, multi-million-dollar federal grant under the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. The Task Force addresses the downstream investigations and prosecutions of cold case sexual assaults that have resulted from testing of previously untested sexual assault kits or any cold case sexual assault.
The team consists of prosecutors, investigators, and victim advocates from the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office, the Atlanta Police Department, the Prosecuting Attorneys Council (PAC), and CJCC (with resources from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and Live Safe), working collaboratively to solve cold case sexual assault crimes.
Additionally, the GASAKI Task Force relies on the ongoing work and commitment of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab to test backlogged Sexual Assault Kits.