Tuesday, March 5, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock/NBC at 7
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- An I-Team investigation could expose a threat to your family's safety.
Roland Ralfue Simms III, 30, is accused of attempted rape, but we've learned he should have been in jail when the alleged attack happened.
Dispatch: "911. Do you need police, fire, or ambulance?"
Caller: "I need a cop here right now. My neighbor just got attacked."
Bianca Morant did more than just call for help; she called out across the fence. You can hear her describe it on the 911 call.
"I screamed, and I told him, 'I'm calling 911,' and he took off like a bat out of hell," Morant said.
Deputies believe Simms came up behind a 74-year-old woman taking out the trash and started to choke her.
"He wanted her to close the garage door so he could rape her." According to the arrest warrant, Simms admitted to Richmond County deputies, "he was trying to choke her out until her legs went limp and drag her into her house and have sex with her over and over."
"Oh my God. It's like this huge light bulb just went off in my head. Everything just fell into place, and I said, 'Wow. That's him,'" Morant said.
It's also the same man who, according to the incident report, "approaches women and children in the neighborhood all the time." Richmond County deputies could have arrested him in November for another alleged sex act he performed on himself in front of another neighbor, but they did not. "Upon speaking, it became obvious he had a mental deficiency and was not able to determine his actions were against the law," the incident report said. Simms told deputies "he didn't know it was visible to anyone."
"You're out in the open," Morant said. "How can you? You see how close these houses are!"
Some of the initial incident report was far from accurate. Simms was 29 years old when the incident happened, but deputies indicated that he was a "juvenile." That was corrected Dec. 11 when "trouble with subject" also changed to "public indecency." The actual warrant came Dec. 21, but Simms was never arrested. Morant says she doesn't understand why he wasn't in jail.
"If he had a warrant out, why is he out," Morant said.
According to a report from 2011, Simms approached a young girl at a bus stop and asked about her underwear.
"Will you have sex with me? When you are home, are you alone? Will you have sex with me for money?" the warrant said.
"Just to think, that could have been my daughter," Morant said.
Could all of this have been prevented?
According to a court-ordered evaluation, doctors diagnosed Simms with Schizophrenia, cannabis abuse, cocaine abuse, and Borderline Intellectual Functioning. Doctors note he seems to do well on his medication, but he has a history of not taking it.
Here's where a disturbing pattern might begin: Simms is accused of a crime. The court finds him incompetent to stand trail. He's committed. He takes his medication and does well. He's released from the hospital into the care of his mother. He gets in trouble again.
Why would he take his medicine? If he did, he might be fit for trial, and then maybe go to prison.
When he doesn't take his medicine, there's no trial and no chance he could be found guilty.
Is that why his mom is also accused of being "inconsistent regarding his medication" and "contributing to his poor compliance."
"Those are false accusations," his mother claimed when we spoke with her.
She did not want to go on camera, but she did elaborate on his troubled mind.
"Well, actually, really 'cause he got a little mental problem," the mother said.
What is the mental problem?
"Yeah, he's got a mental problem," the mother elaborated. "He was going on 15 years old, he got messed up. They gave him some cocaine with some meth in it and some embalming fluid when he was 15 years old."
The mother said she believes the attempted rape charge is a lie. She also said she's worried he's not getting his medication.
That's not stopping Bianca Morant from being worried, though. She said she doesn't even want them to put Simms back into an institution.
"Because they're just going to let them go again," Morant said.
She hopes this time, though, it's different.
"Yeah. Maybe that was a wake-up call for everybody and not just for us," Morant said.
We chose not to use the portion of the 911 call where the 74-year-old victim talks to dispatch. She is clearly shaken, but she is also very clear. The told the 911 operator she knows her attacker, and he lives in her neighborhood. She says he has followed her on walks before. We also reached out the Richmond County Sheriff's Office for an interview. CID turned us down because "they do not feel that it is appropriate to do any interviews on this subject at this time because this case is still open pending court outcome."
Simms hasn't been indicted yet, but based on the warrant, he could be looking at a possible sentence of one to 30 years.