By Joe Johnson
A University of Georgia student recently reported that she woke up in her home on Waddell Street and saw a man in a black hoodie masturbating next to her bed. The intruder ran from the apartment located a few short blocks from the UGA campus, stealing only a lace fringed thong, according to police.
Police soon after identified the suspect as 35-year-old Rashard Timothy Blackshear of Athens, who was arrested a decade earlier for an incident in which he had an early morning encounter with a young girl who authorities said he tried to molest when burglarizing her home.
According to court records, Blackshear has an extensive history of criminal cases that dates to 2008 and includes convictions for burglary, theft and entering vehicles, among other crimes. The Georgia Department of Corrections website indicates that he has been imprisoned twice since 2013 and was released from Telfair State prison just one month ago.
The incident for which Blackshear first made the local news in Athens occurred in April 2013 when, authorities say, he broke into a home off Lexington Road by removing a window screen during the early morning hours. After stealing electronics and cash from different rooms, he entered a bedroom where an 11-year-old girl was sleeping with her younger sister, officials said. The older girl was startled awake when the intruder pulled on her bed coverings, police said. When she asked what he wanted, the burglar replied that he "wanted to see something."
Just days before the burglary, police said, Blackshear twice sent a cellphone photograph of a penis to a different young girl, and a day after that, he sent "images of an erect penis to a female who identified herself as 12 years old and asked that she come to his house," an indictment noted. Those actions were "substantial steps" toward committing the felony offense of enticement of a child for indecent purposes, according to the Superior Court indictment that charged Blackshear with burglary, criminal attempt to commit child molestation, criminal attempt to entice a minor for indecent purposes and two counts of distributing obscene material.
According to court records, Blackshear struck a plea bargain with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to the burglary and obscene material charges in return for the other charges being dismissed and the imposition of a 12-month prison sentence.
For allegedly entering the UGA student’s apartment last Friday, police said, Blackshear was charged with first degree burglary and public indecency. He was also charged with loitering or prowling by UGA police who said that surveillance cameras recorded him attempting to enter the Mell Hall dorms on Baxter Street just a couple hours before the Waddell Street burglary.
County police further charged Blackshear with first degree burglary for breaking into a Church Street residence on Sept. 10 and stealing items that included AirPods that were traced to and recovered from the suspect’s home on Broadacres Court. Police said they also charged him with entering an automobile with the intent to commit a felony.
On Thursday Blackshear continued to be detained at the county jail without bail being set for his release. Police indicated that he possibly faced additional charges.