Former Athens bar owner accused of rape allowed to remove ankle monitor for medical procedure


David Ellis Ippisch

By Joe Johnson

A judge recently granted a motion for a temporary modification of bond condition to a man who was arrested nine months ago for allegedly raping a woman in one of two bars he formerly owned in downtown Athens.

The bond modification will allow 39-year-old David Ellis Ippisch to remove his ankle monitor so he can undergo a medical procedure next week, according to an order by Western Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Eric Norris that was filed last week in Clarke County Superior Court 

Athens-Clarke County police alleged that on Nov. 25, Ippisch pulled a 21-year-old woman against her will into a storage room at The Hedges On Broad and raped her there.

At the time, Ippisch owned The Hedges and 100 Proof, another bar located nearby on East Broad Street.

Ippisch was arrested that same day as the alleged assault, and a grand jury subsequently indicted him for rape and kidnapping.

His attorneys have argued that the sex had been consensual.

According to documents previously filed in Clarke County Superior Court, Ippisch had been under the care of a neurologist for symptoms consistent with multiple sclerosis prior to his arrest and that his continued incarceration has prevented him from having a medical procedure that is needed for further diagnosis and treatment of the condition.

Ippisch was previously denied a request for bond on Dec. 18 by Norris on the grounds that if released, he would be likely to commit another felony and pose a risk of intimidating witnesses. 

A renewed motion for bond stated that on March 18 Ippisch was seen by a Clarke County Jail clinician on a complaint that his symptoms had worsened, to include increased hand tremors and blindness in one of his eyes. 

A clinician “is neither qualified nor appropriate to administer a lumbar puncture, treatment for MS, or such other and further diagnosis and treatment which his treating physicians at Emory (University Hospital) can provide,” the bond motion argued. 

By not being allowed access to adequate medical care, Ippisch’s rights under the U.S. Constitution and Georgia law were being violated, the motion argued. 

The motion also alleged that when initially denying Ippisch bond on the basis he would likely commit an additional felony, the judge relied on questionable information that was provided to police by a jailhouse snitch with multiple felony convictions who was seeking leniency in pending criminal cases.

On May 29 Norris granted Ippisch a $50,000 bond with the conditions he could have no contact with the alleged victim, must wear an ankle monitor while residing with his parents in Cumming, could not leave Forsyth County except for medical appointments, and is barred from Athens-Clarke County unless he needed to meet with his attorneys.

On Aug. 10, Ippisch’s attorneys filed a motion for temporary modification of bond conditions because their client was scheduled to undergo an MRI at Emory Radiology in Buford the afternoon of Sept. 2. The motion states that Ippisch’s ankle monitor would be destroyed by the magnetic fields generated by the MRI procedure.

In his Aug. 20 order granting the bond modification, Norris stated that the ankle monitor can be removed for a period not to exceed 48 hours, beginning at noon on Sept. 1, and the device must be reattached to the defendant’s ankle and reactivated no later than noon on Sept. 3.

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