Judge grants $50k cash bond to former Athens bar owner accused of rape


David Ellis Ippisch

By Joe Johnson

In a stunning move Friday, a judge granted bond to an accused rapist three days after a prosecutor filed a motion stating that the local DA’s office expected to present evidence to a grand jury that 39-year-old David Ellis Ippisch allegedly raped a second woman.

After hearing evidence over the course of three days in Clarke County Superior Court, Western Judicial District Chief Judge Eric Norris granted Ippisch a $50,000 cash bond with conditions.

Ippisch’s first alleged rape allegedly occurred six months ago at one of two bars that the defendant formerly owned downtown, both of which were popular hangouts for students at the University of Georgia nearby.


Western Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Eric Norris

According to Athens-Clarke County police, a 21-year-old woman, known in court records as K.P., claimed she was raped on Nov. 25 at The Hedges on Broad, one of Ippisch’s bars. The defendant also owned the 100 Proof bar, located next to the other bar on East Broad Street.

Both bars went out of business after Ippisch was arrested and subsequently evicted, according to court records.

In The Hedges incident, police alleged that Ippisch pulled the victim against her will into a storage room where he raped her. A detective suggested that the victim might have been drugged prior to the assault.

Ippisch’s defense attorneys claim that the sex was consensual.

A grand jury subsequently charged Ippisch with rape and kidnapping.

In the motion he filed on Tuesday, Western Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Jim Powers notified the court that in The Hedsges rape case, “the State intends to present evidence of other acts of sexual and physical assault perpetrated against” another woman.

The woman would testify during the trial for K.P.’s alleged rape that Ippisch “physically and sexually assaulted her on several, if not regular, occasions during the course of their roughly one to two-year relationship,” Powers stated in the motion.  “Specifically, (the woman) would testify that on several occasions the defendant raped her while she was semi-conscious or unconscious.”

The prosecutor further stated in the motion that “the State expects to present (the second woman’s) case for indictment to the grand jury for the charge of rape as well as potential additional charges, once the COVID-19 Judicial Emergency allows for the grand jury to reconvene."

Powers concluded in the motion by stating that the DA’s office” expects to file additional notices of other acts evidence involving different alleged victims.”

Prior to Friday, Ippisch had been denied bail on three occasions.

One of his failed bids for bail came when Norris ruled that it would be “likely” that if released from custody, Ippisch would commit another felony and posed a risk of influencing witnesses prior to trial.

The judge also heard testimony that Ippisch might be a flight risk if released from custody – when police searched his home at 909 Broad Street apartments, investigators reportedly found a computer that had a list of 94 women with whom Ippisch supposedly had sex, a large safe, and a “go-bag” that contained cash IDs, drugs and a credit card that would not be able to be traced back to Ippisch.

In his Friday order, Norris stated that “after considering the evidence and testimony presented over the course of three days, the Court has determined that (Ippisch) no longer poses the aforementioned risks.”

In addition to posting the $50,000 cash bond, Norris ordered Ippisch to wear an ankle monitor, reside with his father in Cumming, and forbade him from leaving Forsyth County for any reason other than medical appointments, court appearances and meetings with defense counsel.

The judge also, without explanation, barred Ippisch from Hart and Franklin counties, ordered him to have no contact with the victim or witnesses in The Hedges rape case, and forbade him from possessing firearms or having them in his residence. 

Anyone who has been sexually assaulted or knows someone who has can contact The Cottage Sexual Assault Center. The agency provides a range of free services for children and adult victims of sexual and physical abuse, including medical accompaniment, advocacy, referrals and support groups.

The Cottage maintains a 24-hour crisis and information hotline at (877) 363-1912.

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