VERDICT WATCH: Deliberations resume Monday in Tiger Transit rape, sodomy case

Local News

LEE CO., Ala (WRBL) – A Lee County jury will resume deliberations Monday morning in the Tiger Transit Rape Case. 53-year-old Tony Patillo is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old Auburn University student back in September of 2017.

Patillo is one of two former Tiger Transit drivers charged in the case. Defendant James Johnson Jr. will go to trial at a later date.
 
Closing arguments wrapped up late Friday afternoon. The jury deliberated the case for a few hours before calling it a night. They will return Monday morning.

Patillo, who is from Columbus, Georgia,  is facing First Degree Rape of a Physically Helpless person,  First Degree Sodomy of a Physically Helpless person and Public Lewdness.  The jury may also consider lesser-included charges.
 
Prosecutors say video evidence from cameras on the Tiger Transit bus show Patillo raped and forced a defenseless girl – to perform oral sex while she was intoxicated and blacking out.  

On the video jurors heard Patillo referring to the victim as, “knocked out huh”  before the alleged sexual assault takes place. Patillo can be seen fondling her private parts, while the victim lays on the seat. District Attorney Brandon Hughes described her looking like a dead body during the assault.

The video also shows Patillo taking the student to the back of the bus and telling the second defendant and driver James Johnson to turn off the lights. Prosecutors say this is when Patillo raped her and pointed out the victim’s leg wrapped around Patillo’s back in the video. The lights come back on when a person enters the bus. The video then shows Patillo guiding the student into giving him oral sex.

Afterward – the video shows Patillo leading the student off the bus near creekside apartments.  Prosecutors say the, in this case, are four young women who testified they saw a man leading a girl who looks intoxicated off a Tiger Transit bus. The girls later called police after seeing the man in a bus driver uniform with his pants down on top of a girl.
 
The victim testified she did not give consent. She testified she was so intoxicated she did not remember the alleged assault. DNA evidence links the victim’s DNA to the defendant’s underwear and privates.
     
Patillo’s defense claims the sexual encounter was consensual. Patillo did not take the stand in his own case, in fact, the defense did not call any witnesses. The defense says DNA evidence fails to prove a rape actually happened.

Jurors will resume deliberations on Monday. As soon as a verdict is handed down, we will let you know.

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