Jury selection begins in Tiger Transit Rape Case

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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – Jury selection is underway for a second man indicted in the 2017 Rape and Sodomy of an 18-year-old Auburn University student while she was passed out on a campus transit bus.

Monday, James Johnson sat in a Lee County Courtroom with his defense team as potential jurors were questioned. The former Tiger Transit bus driver is charged with Felony First-Degree Rape-Helpless and First-Degree Sodomy–Incapacitated, stemming from the September 2017 sexual assault.

Prosecutors say Johnson drove the bus and acted as a lookout as another Tiger Transit employee, Tony Patillo, raped the 18-year-old student who had passed out.

Prosecutors say video evidence from cameras on the Tiger Transit bus shows a defenseless girl who was forced to perform oral sex while intoxicated and blacking out. The video shows Patillo leading the student off the bus near Creekside apartments. Prosecutors say the heroes in the case are four young women who called the police after seeing a man in a bus driver uniform with his pants down on top of a girl.

Patillo was found guilty in the case and sentenced to 21 years and three months in prison.

Jury selection in Johnson’s case is expected to wrap up Monday with opening statements and testimony starting Tuesday.

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