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Former Athens bar owner accused of raping woman claims declining health in new bid for bond

David Ellis Ippisch

By Joe Johnson

A man who is accused of raping a woman in one of two bars he owned in downtown Athens in November is claiming a serious medical condition and economic hardship as among reasons a judge should grant him bond after four months of detention in jail.

According to the motion that was filed Monday in Clarke County Superior Court, 38-year-old David Ellis 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 his medical condition, according to the 13-page motion.

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

The renewed motion for bond claims 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 argues.

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 argues.

The motion also argues that Ippisch’s continued confinement “has resulted in economic harm to himself and the community...”

The court filing notes that Ippisch’s bars were closed following his arrest and he was evicted by his landlord, resulting in the loss of jobs for at least 153 people. His businesses, The Hedges on Broad and 100 Proof in 2019 paid $180,000 in sales taxes and $208,000 in payroll taxes, according to the renewed motion for bond.

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 and raped her there.

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

One of Ippisch’s attorneys previously told Classic City News that the sex his client had with the alleged victim was consensual, and the renewed motion for bond argues that for several weeks prior to the alleged rape the woman had “aggressively” messaged Ippisch via Snapchat, and rather than being dragged into the bar’s storage room, the woman had sex with Ippisch on a bar stool on a stage behind a TV projection screen that was within 10 feet of a disc jockey and 15 feet from a security guard.

The motion further noted that there were more than 140 people in the room, with uniformed police officers at the bar’s exit.

It is further noted in the motion that the alleged victim has indicated she had no motive to fabricate or embellish the rape story, yet her attorney has notified Ippisch that she plans to sue him and seek a monetary award.

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.

“These are factors which weigh in the defendant’s favor, who is presumed innocent unless convicted at trial,” the motion states.

The motion requests that Ippisch be granted a $50,000 bond with the proposed conditions that he could have no contact with the alleged victim, would wear an ankle monitor while residing with his parents in  Cumming, would not leave Forsythe except for medical appointments and would be barred from Athens-Clarke unless it was to meet with his attorneys.

A hearing on the renewed bond motion has been scheduled for April 7.

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