Jose Antonio Ramirez
By Joe Johnson
A 30-year-old homeless man was charged Thursday morning for the weekend alleged attempted rape of a University of Georgia student who he allegedly followed home from downtown, Athens-Clarke County police said.
The incident happened early the morning of Oct. 26 when, according to the victim’s roommate, Ramirez allegedly “stalked” the 23-year-old victim from downtown to their home at Steeplechase Condominiums on Oconee Street.
The 21-year-old roommate, also a UGA student, told Classic City News that she was in bed when wakened by sounds of a struggle inside the residence.
She said she saw a male trying “to control” her roommate, and that when he realized there was a witness in the home, he took the victim’s cellphone and fled.
The witness said that her roommate told her that the suspect forced his way into the residence.
Police initially described the incident as a robbery and released few details about it.
In her interview with CCN on Tuesday, the victim’s roommate called the incident “definitely an attempted sexual assault or rape.”
In the days following the incident, police released an image of the suspect from a video surveillance camera and a Georgia Bureau of Investigation forensic artist’s sketch of the suspect.
Police said on Monday, information led officers to the parking lot at Walmart on Lexington Road where he was taken into custody when found with unspecified evidence that tied him to the incident at Steeplechase Apartments two days earlier.
After further investigation, detectives charged Ramirez with robbery, false imprisonment, battery, burglary, and criminal intent to commit rape, according to police.
The Clarke County Jail’s website indicated that he was additionally booked in on a charge of first-degree burglary.
Ramirez was being held at the jail without bond being set for all offenses except the battery charge.