By Joe Johnson
A man this week was charged in a 10-count indictment for brutally beating and raping a woman in an Athens homeless camp where he also badly injured the victim’s dog.
“In all my years of investigations, this is the single worst case I have seen,” said Athens-Clarke County police Lt. Jody Thompson, who was a supervisor in the Special Victims Unit at the time of the investigation that led to the arrest of 21-year-old Tyronte Cameron Sloss.
The case was subsequently presented to a grand jury, which on Tuesday indicted Sloss for rape, four counts of aggravated assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, family violence battery, reckless conduct and aggravated cruelty to animals.
According to Thompson, Sloss and the 21-year-old victim had lived together in an apartment months before moving in early 2020 to the homeless camp behind the Peking Restaurant on Old Epps Bridge Road.
The couple reportedly left due to concern by the victim’s family members about Sloss' controlling behavior towards the victim that isolated her from others.
The abuse at the camp began around Feb. 11, when Thompson said Sloss struck he victim all over the body with a hammer.
“She received severe injury to her head, arm and foot, along with multiple injuries to her back and torso,” the officer said.
“Over the course of two weeks she continued to receive physical injury, which escalated to strangulation.” Thompson said. “Also, during this time, he sexually assaulted her several times while she was injured and also occasionally unconscious." Sloss allegedly used force and intimidation to keep the victim from leaving the camp, and as a further means of exerting control over her, Thompson said, Sloss beat the victim’s dog so severely that its broken leg needed to be amputated.
Among injuries to the victim, the indictment notes multiple fractures to her hand, wrist and orbital bones.
“The victim has since lost vision in an eye,” Thompson said. “She has further surgeries to keep her arm, her foot and to rebuild her face.”
The indictment notes that the victim had approximately 14 half-moon shaped wound on her body, which Thompson said were made by a hammer.
The victim’s nightmare did not come to light until her aunt reported that she picked up her niece at the Atlanta Highway RaceTrac on Feb. 24, with the young woman suffering from significant injuries.
After an investigation by ACCPD’s SVU, it was determined that the victim had been assaulted and raped by Sloss at the homeless camp.
A police report indicated that in addition to the many fractures the woman suffered, she had ligature marks on her wrists.
After further investigation, police learned that the victim tried to leave the camp several times, but Sloss always dragged her back.
The reckless endangerment charge in the indictment was forSloss preventing the victim from receiving medical care for her injuries.
Sloss was arrested on warrants om Feb. 25 and he has been detained at the county jail without bail being set.
He is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on July 6.
Anyone who is in an abusive relationship can seek advice and services by calling Project Safe’s 24-hour hotline at (706) 543-3331, or by visiting http://www.project-safe.org.