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Man convicted of raping disabled woman

A Hampton man was convicted Thursday for raping a 24-year-old woman who suffers from Down Syndrome.

William Jeffrey Dumas, of New Hope Road in Hampton, was found guilty of two counts of rape and one count of aggravated sodomy for the October 2011 incidents that occurred at a home just outside of the Fayetteville city limits.

Dumas did not testify in his own defense, but the jury heard evidence that when he was first interviewed by sheriff’s detectives, he claimed the victim had made similar accusations against someone else in the past.

But sheriff’s Det. Josh Shelton tracked that rumor down and proved it to be false, according to Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard.

“It’s all a big lie,” Ballard told the jury during his closing statement Wednesday. “What do guilty people do? They lie.”

Ballard told the jury that the victim had “no reason whatsoever to lie to y’all.” Instead, by coming forward, the victim had to relive the incident over and over again.

Through his attorney, Dumas denied the accusations and claimed they were untrue.

There was also physical evidence in the case: the presence of Dumas’s semen on the sheet of a bed the victim slept on and also a doctor’s observation that an exam of the victim showed damage that was consistent with forcible sexual intercourse.

Defense attorney Chris Ramig argued that the semen stain got on the sheets sometime after they were last washed and changed two or three weeks prior to the alleged incidents.

Sentencing in the case has been delayed as guest Superior Court Judge Christopher McFadden asked for a pre-sentencing investigation to be conducted prior to imposing sentence at a later date.

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