School custodian allegedly rapes, impregnates stepdaughter

By: Diane Cho Email
By: Diane Cho Email

April 19, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---A mother who told authorities later that her stepfather impregnated her when she was twelve says now there is some justice.

64-year-old Ernest Glenn Rhodes was arrested after investigators matched her now eight-year-old son's DNA with his.

Rhodes was arrested back in 1994 for allegedly forcing a then 16-year-old girl to perform oral sex while he was employed at Sego Middle School. But a grand jury never indicted Rhodes on that charge.

Now his stepdaughter has come forward, and she asked News 12 to tell her story.

At twelve years old, Charlita Grant was a baby having a baby of her own, living with the darkest of secrets. She says the man who was supposed to act as a father figure to her had fathered her child.

"I was hurt," she said. "Disgusted, mad, frustrated."

Charlita, now 21 years old, says she never thought this day would ever come. Today Ernest Rhodes faced a judge, charged with sex crimes from 14 years ago.

"You're supposed to forgive and forget, but I'll never forget," Charlita said.

She says the molestation by Rhodes started when she was eight, when he forced her to watch pornography. By the time she was eleven, she says, he wanted more...and when she turned 15 she couldn't keep her secret anymore.

But the Richmond County Sheriff's Office says they didn't have enough evidence at the time to charge Rhodes with a crime.

"I thought it was okay and the right thing to do," Charlita said. "I didn't know anything. I was eight years old, watching nasty pornos. He took something from me I'll never get back."

Because Charlita was a child, the state unknowingly awarded Rhodes full custody of the baby. Not only was Charlita stripped of her innocence, but also of her chance to be a mother.

More than a decade later, the district attorney's office matched up Rhodes' DNA with Charlita's baby's.

"Don't ever let him be free, because I'm not free, and it's not fair to anyone else," Charlita said.

Rhodes was denied bond earlier this week. He worked as a custodian with the Richmond County school system for 22 years. He retired the same year Charlita came forward to the police.

Charlita's child is eight years old and doing great.

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  • by Anonymous on Aug 7, 2008 at 04:17 PM
    i personally know this family, and y'all should know that the daughter didn't tell her mother until recently. the mother is one of the sweetest and giving people i know and would never have consciously let a pervert like him into her life. thank goodness he is in jail and the family can start healing.
  • by Anonymus Location: South Carolina on Jun 22, 2007 at 05:20 PM
    I knew this young lady in school and saw that she obviously faced many mental challenges. Now I know why. I hope this pervert's arrest brings her closure.
  • by coco on Apr 24, 2007 at 11:47 AM
    he is nasty and discussing. I hate a man like him he need to be punished to the fullest extent. Hikm and his son I hope ya,ll don't forget about him.
  • by Anonymous Location: Augusta on Apr 21, 2007 at 11:50 AM
    People like Ernest Rhodes should be castrated. The community where he lived should post his picture where every mother can see it and question their kids about this individual. He is a sick man who should not be in society.
  • by Edwin Location: South Carolina on Apr 20, 2007 at 05:29 PM
    They should put him in prison and let Big Bubba be his cell mate for a few months and show him what it feel like to take something from him without his approval
  • by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2007 at 03:47 PM
    I hope that because this is finally out in the open this young lady will begin to heal it's not too late. This should make us all stand up and look at the big picture instead of what's in front of us (instant gratification, a feeling). I wish I could ask her mother what was she really thinking not to act on something so important as this and the mental stability of her daughter.
  • by Anonymous Location: Augusta on Apr 20, 2007 at 02:38 PM
    It is sad that she had to go through so much at a young age. It is also sad when you go to the one's who are supposed to love you dearly such as your mother and she doesn't believe you at all just for the the sake of having a "Man" any man in your life... Charlita was labeled a trouble child and had difficulty in school because of what happeded to her, all because her mother would not listen to her daughter's voice. How could a woman look into the face of a man for so many years knowing full well that he took a precious inocent child and destroyed her for life. How could someone call themselves a "man" a choose a little girl for his sick pleasures, he had a girlfirend who later became his wife was she not enough? I hope he suffers daily while behind bars for what he did to charlita (being someone's fresh meat0 because it is apparent what he did was of no bother to him while he was walking the street. I hope her mother has prayed for forgiveness because she let this sick behavior go on for so long she is just as guilty, when she first found out she was only dating him later she married the sick -------!
  • by SHAWN Location: GDasf on Apr 20, 2007 at 10:35 AM
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