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Rapist dealt 3 life sentences for assaulting woman

Dressed in a slightly oversized dark pinstriped suit, AbdurRahman Hassan Alwi hung his head.

Minutes earlier the Jonesboro man had been convicted of the assault of a College Park woman in north Fayette County. The victim had been struck multiple times in the face with a pistol and was raped, left behind, naked, and forced to crawl to a nearby residence for help after Alwi and another unidentified assailant left the scene.

The victim told the jury that she was “left for dead.”

But Friday afternoon, the tables were turned. It was Alwi’s life swinging in the balance until Superior Court Judge W. Fletcher Sams pronounced the verdict.

Characterizing the assault as “brutal,” Sams sentenced Alwi to three consecutive life prison sentences, plus 25 additional years in prison: all to be served back-to-back.

“This is one of the worst cases I have seen as a judge,” Sams said. The judge noted that had the victim died, Alwi surely would have faced a possible death sentence.

Instead, Alwi will likely be an old man by the time he gets out of prison. After the sentence was pronounced, Alwi was escorted from the courtroom by several sheriff’s deputies with his handcuffs shackled to his belt.

The jury convicted Alwi of rape, armed robbery, kidnapping with bodily injury, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

The incident on May 29, 2012, began after Alwi told the victim to buy some drugs for him at a location outside Fayette County, according to Assistant District Attorney Warren Sellers. When the victim returned, Alwi claimed the drugs were fake and he became enraged. He forced the victim into a car, ultimately taking her to an area off Sara Cove, a tiny street that is a short distance from North Fayette Elementary School.

On the drive to Sara Cove, the victim managed to call 911 and part of the assault was recorded. That recording was played for the jury.

“It sounded to me like she was saying ‘Please stop,’” Sellers said.

Once at Sara Cove, Alwi struck the victim multiple times in the head with a pistol, prosecutors said. Then as his unidentified co-conspirator held the victim down, Alwi raped her, the victim testified.

Ultimately Alwi left the victim behind and fled the area, and the victim crawled to a nearby home to call 911, Sellers said. That second 911 call was also played for the jury to hear, Sellers added.

The victim identified Alwi in court as the man who attacked and raped her. The emergency room doctor and EMTs testified about her injuries.

Alwi did not testify in the case. In 2011, he was convicted of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in Clayton County Superior Court, but he was sentenced to five years probation with no jail time.

Days after the assault, Alwi was taken into custody by members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, whose mission is to hunt down the most wanted criminals in metro Atlanta. He since has been a resident of the Fayette County Jail, and within weeks or months he will be transferred to the state prison system.

Sellers credited the victim with testifying in the case, specifically because she was honest with the jury. He also credited the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office for putting together a solid case.

Lead detective Josh Shelton credited Sellers for doing “a stellar job.”

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